Friday, November 2, 2012
Fall, this year
November brings fall to Los Angeles, fall, finally. The air is much cooler, the skies are gray in the morning, the grass wet, the crows caw and red leaves, however spare, fall on my car. We do have seasons, I mutter, querulous. No matter the gray peels away by noon, a blue sky like a tight sheet, tucked around us, the sun yellow like crayon light. November is the month of gratitude and everywhere I look I see it. I am grateful, I mutter, querulous. I'm grateful for my sons' strapping health, for The Husband's steady job, for the two contracts I've signed to work, for Sophie's purple, pillowed room, her otherwise happy life. There is tyranny to gratitude, the slog of it, pressure like gray over blue that will shine through anyway. Last night, I spent a few hours with my friend whose sister is dying of cancer. We drank martinis with extra olives and laughed about Louis CK and David Sedaris. My friend's husband brought us pieces of bread smothered in tomatoes and olive oil. We ate chocolate cake. My friend is strong and beautiful. Her children, aged eleven and fourteen face their inevitable loss with uncommon grace, their soft faces creased in gentle care. Her sister exudes grace and patience and is very, very tired. Sitting on the couch next to her, I felt as if the house was breathing in and out, expanding and contracting, with love. When I left, the night was crisp and the air fall-damp. Later, I slipped into my house, everyone sleeping, and fell asleep.