“The blue was gathered in her hand, and she could feel it quiver, as if it had been given breath and was beginning to live.” ~ Lois Lowry, from Gathering Blue

“The Seine” (1930, oil on canvas)
by Pierre Bonnard

                    

“It bothers me
because it’s summer now and sticky—no rain
to cool things down; heat like a wound
that will not close.” ~ Erin Belieu, from “Rondeau at the Train Stop”

Sunday afternoon. Sunny, hot, and humid, 90’s.

I’m all alone in the house, a rare occurrence. Corey is on watch; Eamonn is at Busch Gardens, and Brett is off with Emilie working on some mural. So just the dogs and me, which is a nice change.

“Garden at Midday” (1943, oil on canvas)
by Pierre Bonnard

Apparently Corey is going to be in port longer than expected as there is a leak somewhere that has to be fixed. It would be nice of the captain changed their shifts to in-port watches for the duration, which would mean that he would work for eight straight hours instead of on and off around the clock. Yesterday the two of us went to Costco in between his watches, where I had some prints made of Olivia pix, mostly because my mother keeps bitching about how she has no pictures to show anyone.

I’ve decided that it’s so much easier to have the prints made rather than trying to print them at home, and I had a coupon, which made them $.09/print, which was a steal.

I do need to take some new pictures, though, as all of the ones I have are from her first week. It’s so weird to think that this past Friday makes four weeks. I had forgotten how quickly they change in very little time. She has a definite personality, definite likes and dislikes already, and she appears to have a strong will, which is good. The world needs more strong women, as far as I’m concerned. Anyone who contends that infants don’t have personalities has never spent much time with one.

“Hope as a living state that propels us, open-eyed and fearful, into all the battles of our lives. And some of those battles we do not win. And Some we do.” ~ Audre Lorde

So, let’s see . . . what’s new?

Well, I got my eyes examined, not by the person with whom I had scheduled an appointment but by the person at whose office I arrived mistakenly, only to find that he was the person that I thought I had scheduled the appointment with in the first place. Are you with me?

“Landscape, Sunset” (1912, oil on canvas)
by Pierre Bonnard

As with so many things in my life, it was quite serendipitous, and I really liked this optometrist (so much more than the one from last year). He listened to me, and he was willing to try different lenses on me right then instead of making me come back three times.

Funny story: Appointment was on Friday. Wore contacts for a few hours on Saturday. Went to put contact in on Sunday, and the right one was missing, not in the case, not stuck to the lid, just gone. Called his office on Monday, he said that he’d give me a replacement, so he left it with the optical department a the Walmart to which he is adjacent since he’s not in on Tuesdays. Picked up the lens . . . Then . . .

I went home and did laundry. Looked in the dryer and noticed a contact case. Thought for a minute that it must be Eamonn’s, but then I noticed a green lid mixed in with the clothes. Now, I hadn’t lost the left lens; it was in the case. The case was in my pocket, the pocket of the khakis that I threw in the wash and then in the dryer. So . . . I have a replacement right lens, but the left lens is somewhere in the ether with all of the lost socks. I’m too embarrassed to call him again and say that I’ve lost the left lens, so here I am, still not able to see too well.

“I was thunderstruck. For an instant I stood like the man who, pipe in mouth, was killed one cloudless afternoon long ago in Virginia, by summer lightning; at his own warm open window he was killed, and remained leaning out there upon the dreamy afternoon, till some one touched him, when he fell.” ~ Herman Melville, from “Bartleby, the Scrivener”

I have picked out the new frames or my glasses, but I haven’t yet ordered them. I’m getting the frames at Walmart (if you can believe it) because I really, really like them, and bonus! They’re quite inexpensive. But I’m getting the glasses made at Sam’s Club because they’re cheaper, and they take my insurance. It sounds good, but it involves going places, and quite frankly, it’s too damned hot to go places.

“Woman at her Window” (1895, oil on canvas)
Pierre Bonnard

I’m melting in this heat. Of course, I could go float in the pool, which would be both relaxing and refreshing. That is, I could if Eamonn had brought home the chemicals for the pool any day this past week, something I reminded him to do over and over. Then last night he had the nerve to give me a hard time when I reminded him again to take out the kitchen trash. What is it with kids that they pick the strangest battles at the strangest times? I mean really. Emptying the trash is worth taking a stand on? Are you serious?

I’m still spending a few hours each day helping Alexis, and then I come home and do dishes and laundry, and by 8 o’clock in the evening I feel like a dish rag wrung out too tightly, and I probably smell that way, too. The last thing I care to do is explain why doing one’s chores is actually a no-brainer.

Whatever. Yep. I’m ending this thought with whatever.

“We know nothing. Absolutely nothing.” ~ Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter

So Brett finishes his second section of pre-Calculus this week, and he’s fairly certain that he’s going to make an A. He showed me one of his answers to a test question—one page filled with numbers and symbols. Need I say that I was suitably impressed? Numbers mystify me. Some people look at calculations and see beauty, but I look and see squiggles and a headache. Brett sees beauty in numbers, but the really cool thing (in my opinion) is that he is also keenly attuned to language, so he’ll probably be one of those physicists who writes books that people can actually read. That and he has his art as well. My son, the renaissance man.

“Momisa” (1915, oil on canvas)
by Pierre Bonnard

Actually, I loved math until my second year of algebra. Then, not so much.

I remember watching the movie Good Will Hunting, and one of the premises was this mathematical problem that was supposedly unsolvable (or something like that. My attitude towards an unsolvable math problem is something like this: Can’t solve it? Okay. Walks away completely content.

That’s how my brain works. On the other hand, I ponder over and over again things like what really happened to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry or Amelia Earhart? What if Hitler had been killed—would the madness have ended then, or would someone else have just stepped into his place? Who came up with the format for a sestina, and why? Why do people claim that their short poems are Haiku when they don’t fit the 5/7/5 format? You know, the important things.

These things bother me, not an unsolvable math problem, which is why I will never find the cure for anything or ever solve the problem of cold fusion. I can probably live with that.

“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.” ~ Roland Barthes

That pretty much catches me up, not that the throngs are out there madly beating the drums requesting an update, although I do like to pretend that they are. Clamoring madly, that is.

“Tree by the River” (1909, oil on canvas)
by Pierre Bonnard

I had hoped to give the dogs baths today, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s just too frigging hot. Of course, try telling Tillie that, who is at this moment sitting next to me looking up at me with big puppy eyes as if to say, “What? No running around outside? What’s up with that?

So no dog baths, no floor cleaning, not much of anything once I finish this post. Perhaps I’ll immerse myself in one of the books on my stack of things to read. It’s always nice to have once of those stacks. I tend to feel very deprived if I don’t have at least three or four books waiting in the wings, probably much like a heroin addict jonesing for his next fix.

Granted I don’t have the whole hollow-cheeked non-bathing thing going on, but I’m talking about the incessant need, the hunger, the feeling that if I don’t get a book/fix soon I may have to commit petty larceny or something. I’m thinking that my coffee may have been a bit too strong today.

Right . . . better stop now.

More later. Peace.

(*Pierre Bonnard, post-impressionist, images found on wikipaintings.org)

Music by Florence + The Machine, “Breath of Life”

                    

The Ponds

Every year
the lilies
are so perfect
I can hardly believe

their lapped light crowding
the black,
mid-summer ponds.
Nobody could count all of them—

the muskrats swimming
among the pads and the grasses
can reach out
their muscular arms and touch

only so many, they are that
rife and wild.
But what in this world
is perfect?

I bend closer and see
how this one is clearly lopsided —
and that one wears an orange blight —
and this one is a glossy cheek

half nibbled away —
and that one is a slumped purse
full of its own
unstoppable decay.

Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled —
to cast aside the weight of facts

and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking

into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing —
that the light is everything — that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading.  And I do.

~ Mary Oliver

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2 thoughts on ““The blue was gathered in her hand, and she could feel it quiver, as if it had been given breath and was beginning to live.” ~ Lois Lowry, from Gathering Blue

  1. Love the first green painting, and Mary Oliver’s poem.

    MATH: Mental Abuse Towards Humans. But, wonderful news for Brett. Just because I don’t like math doesn’t mean that I don’t have the greatest respect for those who get it. I attempt to not make math a part of my daily life…

    The eye Doctor appointment and the contact lens stories sound like something I would do… I’ll have to check out Walmart and Sam’s Club for glasses…

    And, hey – there might not be the population of NYC beating their drums for you, but I think those of us who do beat the drums, beat loudly…

    I am trying to finish up “Imagine” so it can go back to the library Wednesday… Then I will start “The Zookeeper’s Wife”.

    I now have freon in the car so the air conditioning works, but I don’t use it very much because it seems to double the speed with which the gas needle dives…

    I hope your weather cools some, that there are butterflies swirling through the air around you, that there are roses around every corner… and that the next time the trash needs to go out, it disappears without words or you having to do it yourself… (oh, and I wish for pool chemicals, too.)

    • I love that first Bonnard painting too, which is why I put it first.

      Let’s see: the trash went out tonight without incident . . . Corey bought pool chemicals before he left . . . it’s storming, but still so frigging humid.

      Yep, there seems to be some corollary between AC use and gas consumption, and I try to keep my windows down whenever possible, but lately, it hasn’t been possible.

      Agree on math, but Brett finished class today with a 98.6 average, the highest in the class. I’d brag too.

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