The week, in a few words, has been...well, I guess it's going to take more than a few words. (You may be distracted right now by the unbelievable red-brown-ness of that egg over there to the left. I know, me too.) So I'll just say that I've felt that I was darn-near losing my mind. Thwarted by the shortcomings of technology, hemmed in by deadlines, harried by uncertainty, just plain frazzled. Even the state of my hair spoke of the inner unrest. My first whole week of sweet, sweet summer, and what do I have? A quiet, underground sort of thrumming hysteria. The kind where, when someone asks "so, how has your week been?", you don't know how bass-ackwards it's been until you hear yourself start talking. It bubbles up behind my eyeballs, and then it comes clear: I may be certifiably undone. I need a stiff drink. So ready for an asylum. Better yet, drop me off in a field of tall grass with a blanket and come back for me in a week's time, I should be fine by then.
But what's the change? What's caused this interior fruit basket turnover? All good things, really. Believe it or not, but believe it. Even the good stuff can still cause pain, though, the growing kind. Even when your bones and muscles start to stretch and become leaner and meaner, it still smarts. The sinew has to reposition, everything has to settle into the new sense of strength.
So tonight, on the eve of a week away (NYC, baby), I'm in my little smoky-blue kitchen, with candles lit. It's quiet around here. Save for Chet Baker's "Moonlight Becomes You" and a low sizzle from the stovetop, all is, for the moment, really lovely and still. The last of the fresh pattypan and zucchini squash from my CSA box were sauteed with some red onion and almost unrecognizably shriveled mushrooms, then topped with a straight-from-the-barnyard egg, fried in olive oil. Its yolk oozed into the residual fat to make the most silky, tasty sauce on the bottom of my plate. Joined by a light lemony-green, medium-bodied, white-grapey Vinho Verde from Portugal (in one of my vintage, flower-etched coupes), it was a most satisfying supper. It didn't hurt that there was a really salty-yet-lovable fisherman printed on the bottle in a pretty blue-green hue. Utter simplicity reads, lately, as utter luxury.
A peach from the fine folks at The Peach Truck will wrap up the evening's little scrappy meal. Talk about luxury: this peach, guys, hooooo-boy. I shook hands with Stephen Rose and his pretty red-haired wonder of a wife last night at Imogene + Willie. They've got a Jeep Gladiator and a literal truckload of peaches that come straight from Stephen's family's farm. The moment he set the bag in my hands, I instantly knew that I was in luck. The heft of those ten or so pieces of golden-red, perfumed fruit was a tell-tale sign of the goodness to come. When I made it home, threw my keys on the counter and opened the brown paper sack -- bearing a really campy and adorable stamped logo -- well, I'll just report that the fact that I managed to stop at one was nothing short of a miracle.
After I wrestle that peach pit to the floor and have it in a very unattractive, oral stranglehold (sorry), I'll set to the task of packing. It's New York City, I've done it several times before and I can do it again. I find that NYC always requires a ridiculous number of pairs of shoes, though (there's so much pavement-pounding to be done), especially when, in the middle of that week, I'll be jumping on the ol' Hampton Jitney and moving eastward (something I never do, if you know me at all). A painting workshop at The Art Barge in Amagansett and a room at Ruschmeyer's in Montauk await me. The only ways I've prepared for that portion of the trip is by submitting a request for a bicycle, gathering my tubes of watercolor and booking my room. Everything else is up to the Hampton gods. It can't be anything less than satisfying, if there are lighthouses and lobsters, cute surfers and orange sunsets about.
I just needed to record this diving board sensation, here at the start of the summer. I will position my hands, take form, dive down into the days and they will rush past my ears like so many effervescent, sea glass-hued bubbles. So here we go.