Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After Praising Silence, Two in One Day

Because I meant to talk a little about assembling a home. About an umbrella I saw today with one of my most stylish students that caused me to think "what is yellow like that?"

I have my first grown-up kitchen, after scouring most of High Street, and ending up purchasing from Grand View Mercantile a sideboard and a china cabinet, both wonderfully 40s with little deco-like green designs and a wonderful oak with yes, chrome legs. Then Clintonville to find a table, that quite nearly (and to the detail)matched the atomic, rustic thing that my kitchen begs to be. Really, it's a kind of vintage country at the end of the day. I have favorite High St. shops and my collection of thrift stores that I stalked, inclusive of Flower Child and my beloved Mary Catherine's, one shop that I found great finds at but no longer visit as the owner and I find one another's presence less than pleasant, and a great little bank of North high shops where I found a stoneware bowl that I still dream of owning and a blue-mirrored table to match my coffee table. We looked and looked for a couch that met the criteria for somewhat divergent aesthetics, and the salmon-velvet couch I loved lost out to a big, new couch but with my upholstery picks and my mid-century accent chairs:one coral clam-shell back herculan beauty with day-sky of silver-threaded stars to its sun-setting sky and one torn to bits chair that had crossing legs on the side and made the upholsterer declare that for all the antiques he'd seen, he had never before seen a chair like this. It will come home all olive-velveted up with a throw pillow of fuchsia carved velvet and little chartreuse leaves.

What's interesting about any of this? To me, it's home, the first one I've ever really made, and the first time that if I paint a wall, it's my wall. If I find something major to buy for it, it comes from some place I love to support and it is a gift to the home and to time itself, not forever but long enough to warrant the look-ahead. How long has it been since I could say as much?

Teaching lately has been really wonderful. My lit. class is full of some very special and especially bright students who are full of life and make me feel as if they are getting as much a kick out of the class as I am. My fiction workshop was so savvy and on in their assessments of one another's stories today that I felt like I was sitting in a grad. workshop.

Body of the Hour

To say, the soul

is like saying, the clock
lost its body and went on ticking.

Shadow-body, this one
who lived behind the bat-faced
bone of the pelvis

raised in the slicked-back hackle of blood . . .

To say, comfort me now in the hour
of my loss is

to be the hour, always.
To be Lord Almost.
Mother So-Close.

To be this time each time
you stop—put down the fork
or turn the page and look up:

The meadow in a lather of white
four-o-clocks, the birthmarked
butterfly moving

as if written—erased—written . . .
I remember once in this world
I was an absence,
like you. Like you.

Beckian Fritz Goldberg

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