Friday, February 23, 2018

what i have been doing lately

the paris review podcast just finished their first season and it was luminous. every episode is shimmeringly beautiful - a mix of early writing, archival audio and contemporary pieces read by famous voices. it's literary and deep and gorgeously produced. i was inspired by the jamaica kincaid piece in episode 12 - what i have been doing lately. (you need a subscription to read all of it, but you can hear it for free on the podcast.) and while i cannot hope to compare to her writing, i do feel drawn to trying my hand at it...tho' i suspect mine will have a less dreamlike quality.

what i have been doing me.

it's 4 a.m. i'm awake, kicking off the covers, it's clear outside and i can see the light of the partial moon illuminating the heavy frost that's on the grass. there are a zillion stars in the clear sky. i reach for my phone. what has the spray-tanned buffoon done now? has there been another school shooting? are those articulate florida teenagers winning or are they being snuffed out by old, stodgy white men? not yet, it seems, tho' they are trying (the stodgy men, that is). bob is snuggled between us, stretching out his long body, trusting that we won't roll over onto him. oddly, husband isn't snoring, which in turn makes me wonder if he's still breathing - i feel a rising anxiety at the thought that he's not and i flash back to a similar feeling when sabin was a baby. he is. as she always was. i don't feel panic at being awake, because i'm taking the day off. i can sleep in if i want. when it comes to it, i don't, because of that gorgeous sunrise you can see in the photo above. instead, i get up with husband and the child, who aren't taking the day off, and then i switch batteries on the camera and go out into the cold, clear, still, very frosty morning to capture that pinkish orange horizon. i breathe in great lungsful (lungfuls?) of cold, crisp, clean air. frannie follows me, rolling and flirting at my feet. molly trots over, her compact little body, covered in thick, grey tortiseshell fur. she stretches up a fence post in her version of a catlike sun salutation. freya eventually shows up as well, tho' i don't see where she comes from. her back twitches in anticipation that i will pet her. i do. i feed them all in the greenhouse and they eagerly dig in. i find it hard to leave the sunrise, it keeps getting more and more spectacular and intense as soon as i turn my back on it. so i go back to the edge of the trees and snap a few more photos. more than once. eventually, my hands are cold and my toes too in my rubber boots and i head for the house. i love the still, cold air. birdsong has begun and despite the frost, it sounds like spring. the birds have sex and light and warmth on the brain. i go in, light a match and put on the kettle to make tea. molly comes in with me, hopping up on her chair in the kitchen. it's her throne. i make a cup of tea and crawl back in bed with karl ove knausgaard's autumn. musings he ostensibly wrote to his unborn daughter, but which amount to deep, philosophical (a)musings on everyday things. tho' they are not poetry, they remind me somehow of neruda's elemental odes. i read a few and never do go back to sleep as i had hoped. i get up and do everyday tasks - laundry, unloading the dishwasher, reloading it, taking out the trash. there is a kind of time for thinking and processing in such mundane tasks, so i feel no resentment or frustration over them. i dress, put on some makeup and then it's time to go get the child. i have to run a few errands before she's out of school - grocery store, h&m. she's in a good mood - there's a party tonight for the whole school. and the sun is out, so her mood is vastly improved from the teenage stormcloud of the night before. we listen to the criminal podcast on the way home and she predicts the criminal's sentence before they even say it. she tells me that in addition to studying criminology and criminal justice in sunny arizona, she will likely go to law school as well. i have a moment of awe, observing who she is becoming and how much herself she already is. i feel more a witness to it than responsible and that feels like a privilege of which i'm probably not fully worthy. we drink aloe water - golden kiwi flavor - and pick up some more at the grocery store because it's delicious and it's on sale. we laugh easily about how much we love the feel of the little bits of aloe between our teeth. we get home and while she gets ready for her evening party, i lie down for a bit with a couple of cats. i don't snooze, but lazily check instagram and post a few of the photos i took earlier. it feels like a luxury. i take her to the train. she's happy - the sun is shining, her makeup is perfect and she's looking forward to a nice evening with her friends. i come home and husband is here, but he has a headache, so now he's lying down. i leisurely make a light supper of fishcakes and homemade remoulade. we greedily eat it all up while we watch john oliver and he makes us laugh and feel better about the state of the world. i sit at my computer and write this and husband surfs the auction sites - looking for an oven and stumbling across other interesting things...a vending machine (we could fill it with affordable art), some rugs and a couch that has potential. it's friday night. it's cold and clear and i am glad to be at home.

* * *

* * *

so glad i didn't have boy. 

* * *

speaking of things i've been doing lately,
have you listened to the podcast i'm making at work yet?

No comments: