“White Winter, Rooks’ Nest” (1904, oil on canvas)
by Igor Grabar
“I fear this silence,
this inarticulate life.” ~ Adrienne Rich, from Twenty-One Love Poems
Friday morning. Sunny and very, very cold, 17 degrees.
Well, I had a Friday leftovers post ready to go, but I’ve decided that I’m going to try to do a real post today, you know, one with my actual words and thoughts and not a reblog of someone else’s stuff. I’ve had my first cup of coffee; I have my heat wrap around my neck, the one filled with flax that goes in the microwave; it’s comforting. I’m ready . . . I think.
“Snowy Trees in the Garden” (nd, oil on canvas)
by Izsák Perlmutter
So yesterday was my birthday, and it was as unspectacular as I had thought it would be. My mother did not call to wish me Happy Birthday; she regularly forgets my birthday, which, if you think about it, is quite a statement about our relationship. She will say that she doesn’t remember anything, but she’s been forgetting this day for at least a decade, so . . .
It doesn’t bother me so much now, but it used to really get to me. Lex and Brett both got me early, and Corey texted. I heard from Eamonn in the evening, and then Corey called to see how it went. He knows of my love/hate relationship with my birthdays, how I tend to get depressed, or if I’m already down, to spiral downwards even more. I actually didn’t spiral this year, but I think it’s because I’m in denial and on hold until Corey returns. I mean, Christmas, New Year’s, and now my birthday—all have passed with me being without my life partner, and it’s weird.
“I so often feel that I’m barely here, that to feel weight is to be reminded of my own existence.” ~ Hannah Kent, from Burial Rites
Tillie is better. I’ve only had to give her the sedating cough medicine a few times. I can tell that she’s feeling much better because she and Bailey are having their daily play fights and romps around the yard. It’s wonderful to see her with her regular bright eyes.
“Landscape with Violet Lights” (c1934)
by Janos Tornyai
I am on day five of this particular migraine. I don’t even know why I try any more. Nothing works. The Botox obviously isn’t working, or perhaps, is only working some. Admittedly, the pain is not quite as acute, but the duration is hanging in there; no one-day headaches for me. I am nothing if not prolific (in all of the wrong ways). I put a call in to the pain management center, waiting to see is they have any ideas.
So, I’ve been weepy this month, actually since New Year’s eve. It doesn’t take much to make the tears begin to pool. I hate being weepy. So far, I’ve cried at an Apple commercial (the one in which the kid surprises his family by actually being aware of them); I cried at a YouTube video (the one about the guy who gets out of prison only to rob a bank of $1 so that he can go back in). And I cried at last week’s episode of “Bones,” in which one of the characters finds out he has bone cancer.
I have to say, 2014 is starting off with a bang.
“I have travelled so far to remember
Nothing of my former life, though perhaps that is
Truly best. I’ve left everything I’ve ever known
To come here, to stand in the shape of your shadow.” ~ David St. John, from “XVI. A Traveller”
I just went to refill my coffee cup, and while I was standing at the counter, a gust of frigid air caught me around the ankles; it came from the sink cabinet. This house is so drafty, and it’s so damnably cold. The dusting of snow we had a few days ago is mostly ice. The least it could do if it’s going to be this cold is to snow more than half an inch. Oh well. I think I’ll switch to some random thoughts at this point.
“Melting Snow, Petrograd” (1917, oil on canvas)
by Boris Izrailovich Anisfeld
Here goes . . . Things I have realized:
- If the color slate blue is anywhere in an image, I will immediately be drawn to it; more so if yellow is also present. This is odd considering I used to have a real antipathy towards the color yellow. Now? No longer.
- Part of me wishes that I worked in an art museum now that I have developed a much broader appreciation of art, well beyond my novice love of the Impressionists. It would be so lovely to roam the galleries unimpeded by ropes and stanchions that keep visitors at a safe distance.
- My appreciation of duck tape only grows with age, she said, apropos of nothing . . .
- I’m not agoraphobic, but I don’t much like leaving the house. What’s the term for that? Lazy?
- I think that I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that I will not be getting my doctorate; what program is going to admit someone my age when they have the pick of 20-somethings?
- This does not mean that I will ever stop wishing that I had gotten my Phd. I will always wish that.
“It is awful to want to go away and to want to go nowhere.” ~ Sylvia Plath, from The Unabridged Journals
Things I want to say but never will:
- To my ex: You are a cold, selfish shell of the man I once knew. I never thought you would absent yourself from your children’s lives as deeply as you have. You are not worthy of their love or respect.
“Winter Trees, Abiquiu, I” (1950, oil on canvas)
by Georgia O’Keeffe
- To my s-in-law (here): Your mother and I had a really great friendship; she told me once that she liked me better than the son I was married to, so for god’s sake, stop.
- To my mother: You will never know how many ways you have crushed my spirit and wounded me to the core. You have made me insecure about every aspect of my life.
- To the boss who continues to plague my dreams: You are a stupid man for not realizing how you were being played and manipulated by the redhead.
- To the man I spent too much time with simply because I was lonely: I know that you beat your wife. I’m so glad that I did not have anything more than a superficial relationship with you.
of you— your obvious loveliness, your obliviousness
to lost things.” ~ Sally Delehant, from “It’s Always Something”
Things I still don’t know:
“Paysage d’hiver” (1933, oil on wood)
by Gabriele Munter
- How to make fondant for a cake.
- How to apply false eyelashes (in what situation would this be necessary?).
- How to find a literary agent.
- How to motivate my children to move beyond where they are now.
- How to motivate myself to do something . . . anything . . .
- How to make Crème fraîche.
- How to have my picture taken.
- How to take a photograph of running water and get that blanket effect.
- How to lay brick.
- How to let things go.
- How to love myself.
“I want something else. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore except I know it feels roomy and it’s drenched in sunlight and it’s weightless . . .” ~ Mark Z. Danielewki, from House of Leaves
Things I still haven’t done:
- Gone to Ireland, Iceland, New Zealand, or Australia.
- Visited the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, or the Pyramids of Giza.
- Read Dante’s Divine Comedy, or Homer’s Iliad/Odyssey.
- Found a literary agent.
“Winter Day” (nd, oil on cardboard)
by Camil Ressu
- Gotten past the first 30 pages of a draft without sabotaging myself and convincing myself that no one would want to read what I have written.
- Seen the Northern Lights or the Grand Canyon.
- Visited any of a number of stone circles in Britain.
- Taken a photograph of a hummingbird.
- Gotten another tattoo.
- Gotten any work as a book indexer. I would be so good at this. How can I make this happen?
- Flown in a glider (will never give up this particular dream), or ridden in a hot air balloon.
- Lived in a house on a cliff by the sea . . .
I guess that’s enough for now.
More later. Peace.
All images today are obviously an homage to the freezing temperatures and my wish for a blanket of snow . . .
Music by Justine Bennett, “Carry Me”
no help for that
there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled
and even during the
we will know it
we will know it
there is a place in the heart that
will never be filled
we will wait
~ Charles Bukowski