Friday, November 15, 2019

Dogged and Dogged

found on the internets

The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head.

Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

I am in a dream these days, some part a deep and abiding sense of being loved and another a nightmare. I walked down the dingy halls of the courthouse earlier this week, dread and bewilderment masked by cheer and a dull gratitude for beloveds flanking me. What does it mean to be unreasonable? The word contempt. Marriage. Divorce. Years. Papers filed by lawyers and a whole system constructed by. By. The halls of justice are really halls. The metaphors of justice do justice.  There must be a system. I stare at the back of a head whose folds I know. Metta. The Virgin Mary. Those old tricks. I age ten years. I dig for humor some days later, dogged and dogged and find it in the 55+ menu at IHOP where I am not questioned and order a full plate breakfast of eggs, sausage, toast and hash browns. The coffee was good.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

When You Can't Stop Crying

I've been hearing all kinds of wise talk these days as I seek the counsel of people who love me. Yesterday, after twisting needles into parts of me that were clearly storing an inordinate amount of anguish, Dr. Jin spoke about Chinese armies who fight one another.  The side that doesn't want to fight or who is fighting out of integrity and truth against evil wins, she said in so many heavily accented words. Regardless of outcome. This felt strangely reassuring.

Today I was told by one of Sophie's caregivers that when you can't stop crying, you haven't cried enough.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pictures, You Need Pictures: Part 3: Florence

Enough! you say? Well, Henry and I left Rome on a train after two glorious days and headed to Florence where he's been living and studying at the Gonzaga University campus. After Los Angeles and New York, Florence is my very favorite city. I can't adequately explain the impact on me when I first visited in 1985, but it hit me all over again fifteen years ago and yes, all over again in 2019.

I did my pilgrimage to the monastery where Fra Angelico painted the frescoes, where strangely amongst the din that is Europe and its tourists, the place remains supremely quiet and near-empty.

And then, of course, around the corner and up the stairs...

The Annunciation.



I might be smiling in the above photo, but I am also slowly dying as we walked through the city over the river and up the steepest hill I've ever climbed in stupid shoes to the Piazza Michelangelo. It overlooks the entire city, and the view was entirely worth the effort. In fact, if I'd died up there, it would have been just fine.

On our last night we ate at this famous restaurant called 13 Gobbi. We had anchovies first, followed by pasta with mozzarella, and then I had eggplant parmesan and Henry had Milanese. It was easily one of the best meals I've ever had, but to tell you the truth, all the food in Italy is crazily sublime. How is that even possible? (It feels ridiculous posting these poorly lit photos, but I'm going to, anyway):

This is just a crazily lit photo of a gorgeous building near the restaurant. We walked the long way home. Henry dropped me off at my pensione, hugged me good-bye and left for his own. I left the next morning for the west coast of Los Angeles, filled with gratitude for this time spent away.

P.S. For all those who've asked after us, we are safe and far enough away from the fires to only be affected by smoke and bad air quality. We have many friends who were affected, though, who had to flee in the middle of the night. My heart goes out to all those who lost their homes, their possessions, their livelihoods. California is a fiercely beautiful state, and I am grateful to have lived here for over twenty years.


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