journal

juxtapositions

 

As always, after an absence from this blog, it's hard to know where to begin. Life like a series of middles, the beginnings lighning fast, impossible to pin down. So instead, these middles, stretches of time and circumstance and sensation, when things are most palpably felt, outer intertwining with inner in strands of thickening rope. The photos help a bit, remind me where I've been, what I did, and what I felt doing it.

 

 

And so.

 

Walking the Highline down to Chelsea in my Frye boots. The strut they give me, the way they make me slow down, find a groove, how I can feel all the dips and rises of my legs and hips in action. My friend Laurie urged me to get these boots years ago, said they would change my life, and they have. The instant I put them on, I feel ready. For what, I don't know. But ready.

 

The grand scale of New York City. Everything so big and wide my neck swivels wildly to catch it all. The cranes attending to the needs of skyscrapers. The machinery required to clear one square block of concrete. The extravagant noise of new construction. I kept having to remember to look down, see where I was going. And there, minute topographies of stone and metal and detritus. The tiny continents and contents of living.

 

And then, signs like fortune cookies. Cryptic, funny, perfect.

 

The bright lights of Lincoln Center after blocks and blocks of walking in the cold. A warm bathroom in a fancy restaurant. A stack of rolled hand towels like a work of art. The view from my uncle's apartment. He's been gone 5 months, but the place still smells exactly like him. The titles from his massive bookshelf tell me I knew only a fraction of who he was, and how strange it is, the fact of his death, now, to begin to peel from the walls, from the rooms, a few more layers of him. Filling in the sketch I've carried for so long with darker, deeper lines.

 

Back home, reining in the loose monsters of old fear. A new business venture looming, and me knocking one thing off the to-do list at a time. Can I do this? Can I do this. I can do this. I am doing it. That first day at the Saturday Winter Farmers' Market, peddling my wares, drawing the first ring of batter on the crepe pans. How they came wafting in like the scent that rose from those pans, the apple sauce and berry compote I had simmering on the plug-in burners. The perfect alignment in that moment of fantasy and truth. The lesson there for me for a million other things cooking in my head.

 

Closeups and color and texture and shape. How proximity changes the look of things. The walk down Concourse C at O'Hare. A bowl of cookies. A seatback tray table. Marquee letters. Night vines. Boxes of paper towels. An apple display. Hearts blowing in the Santa Monica breeze. Venice Beach eccentricities. The intimacy of graffit and the chipped paint on an old wall.

 

A party in full swing. Christine and her grace and hilarity and full-to-bursting generosity. My two days in Los Angeles like a salve, like healing. Unwinding and resettling. Stillness and movement all at once, bubbly magic twinned with a early darkening sky, the heart finding a place of rest and release. A sandy beach in the middle of December, air warm enough for short sleeves. Palm trees giddy and alert. Don't forget to be happy, they were saying. And the flight home, backlit by a slim line of sunset. Like some kind of faith or forgiveness. Or both.