09 February 2011


Not that I wish it to be Tuesday, because yesterday's day was ready to be good and over.....

Listening to:
Genius mix on my brand spankin' new iPod (thanks mom and dad, for having me in the first place, then for giving me such generous gifts). I let the highlight hover over the song "Starry Gazey Pie" by the Bees (a.k.a. The Silver Seas), held the button down until "Genius" popped up, then was given the gift of a knowing mix including Genesis' "Follow You Follow Me," Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" as well as "Streets of Philadelphia," all the songs I forget I own come up in such a fine string. Now I am listening to Genius based on the Foo Fighters' "Walking After You" so now I'm looking forward to Beck, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Flaming Lips, REM.....How does it know?! I know I'm late to the Genius party but I'm here now, and this is staggeringly great.

Really digging lately:
Art lessons with Anna. My friend wrote me at the start of the year and asked if I'd ever be interested in giving her drawing lessons. Not that she needs them, mind you. She's already got a solid set of skills, a firm grasp on the virtues of contrast and perspective, a body of knowledge that makes me wonder what I have to teach her. We sit at my kitchen table for two hours every other Tuesday in the flicker of candlelight, we sip wine or tea, listen to good music, talk through life's issues, laugh, sit in silence for a while, then pick back up on other topics, all the while covered in graphite and eraser dust. The fact that she writes me a check when eight o' clock rolls around still feels funny, but she insists. (these are my two drawings, one of Jamie Oliver picking garlic and one of a vintage Dr. Pepper bottle. I'll ask the student at our next lesson if I might be allowed to feature her work here too.)

A scarf given to me by my lovely Reba two (or three?) years ago for my birthday. I love it when I remember articles of clothing I forgot I had. It was tucked away behind summer dresses and rain jackets in the hall closet. I remembered it in the first place because of the indigo blue tights I have on with my Wellies today. It's fun to match sometimes. But I distinctly remember, back in Junior High when I was becoming the dashing pinnacle of style I am today, mom saying in her gentle way, "does everything always have to match perfectly?..." That might be one of the best notes on style I ever received. And yet, today, I match. It's a process, folks, a process.

Dare I say it? Snow. We've got more on the way, it appears. I'm so ready for spring I may cry. Not that I'd mind a little day off, free from watercolored dragons and puppets needing their sticks and markers that are running out of juice.....

Reading at night:
(re-reading, really) Garrison Keillor's compilation Good Poems. It does not get old.
Here's one that suits today (and of which I have a special understanding, given my morning battles with a temperamental old pick-up) :

by Baron Wormser

"Cold as the moon," he'd mutter
In the January of 5 A.M. and 15 below
As he tried to tease the old Chev into greeting
One more misanthropic morning.

It was an art (though he never
Used that curious word) as he thumped
The gas pedal and turned the key
So carefully while he held his breath
And waited for the sharp jounce
And roar of an engaged engine.

"Shoulda brought in the battery last night."
"Shoulda got up around midnight
And turned it over once."

It was always early rising as he'd worked
A lifetime "in every damn sort
Of damn factory." Machines were
As natural to him as dogs and flowers.
A machine, as he put it, "was sensible."

I was so stupid about valves and intakes
He thought I was some religious type.
How had I lived as long as I had
And remained so out of it?
And why had I moved of my own free will
To a place that prided itself
On the blunt misery of January?

"No way to live," he'd say as he poked
A finger into the frozen throat
Of an unwilling carburetor.
His breath hung in the air
Like a white balloon.

Later on the way to the town where
We worked while the heater
Wheezed fitfully and the windshield
Showed indifference to the defroster
He'd turn to me and say that
The two best things in this world
Were hot coffee and winter sunrises.
The icy road beckoned to no one,
Snow began to drift down sleepily,
The peace of servitude sighed and dreamed.