what's on my mind
Taking a leaf from Plan B's blog page, this is what's rolling around in my head on this December day:
--Winter, and how it is so wonderfully beautiful (the sun on the snow, the blue sky) today, but how I hate it nevertheless because it's dark by 5, and my winter clothes are bulky, and my garden is just some wilted leaves and dried stalks sticking up out of the drifts.
--The Black Book, Orhan Pamuk's book--I'm almost done reading it and still in the dark about how it works, but still intrigued. It's so closely tied to Istanbul, its streets and people, that I am starting to feel as if I have memories of being there, that I have gone to Aladdin's shop opposite the City of Hearts apartments where Galip's family once lived, that I have gone to the gangsters' hideouts or the pudding shops. Why don't we have pudding shops in Cleveland? instead of all those coffee places? stop on the way home for a cup of tapioca instead of a latte?
--the end of the semester, which is over in the sense that classes are over, but not over in the sense that dozens of students are craftily preparing piles of papers that I will be reading next weekend. Every end of the semester is fiercely desirable, every beginning makes new insight possible. (Every summer is heaven, of course.)
--Xmas shopping, which is done except for those things I can't buy on line--flowering plants (for my Aunt Honey, which I'm safe in saying because not only does she not read this blog, she doesn't have a computer. She thought for a while in her retirement that she might like to get an electric typewriter, but is not interested in the internet, which she maybe regards as a kind of fantasy that her nieces and nephews are collectively having.), and bottles of booze, and the kinds of things that can only be found as you wander through stores in the mall feeling desperate, while you eat a pretzel dog-- Christmas patterned socks, small flashlights that can be rigged as a headpiece, guaranteed waterproof phone carriers, stretchy beaded bracelets, tiny books that offer humorous and ironic rules for living, pierced earrings for the daughter who, I always forget, doesn't have pierced ears, soaps that smell like mango and chocolate, a Hello Kitty calendar. (This passage is an inept but fond homage to The Black Book.)
--my novel, which I set aside during the last weeks of school, and which is waiting balefully, or maybe hopefully? for me to trim, prune, eviscerate, etc.
--my knee, which is slowly recovering from its desire to bend slightly the wrong way.
--the fact that I need a new winter coat, that the one I have is getting shabby, even though it is so warm and so light (down). It's so warm that I've used it for a blanket, notably during one winter residency at Vermont College when the high temperature was below zero for 6 days in a row, and the heating pipes in the rooms where the faculty slept, which had once been dorm rooms to cadets at a military school, groaned and clanked ineffectively. People put food on the windowsills to keep it cold, as in a refrigerator (mostly wine and cheese). The coat was my 3rd coverlet, over the two stiff, scratchy, repellent khaki blankets issued to us.
--my camera--I have become an obsessive picture taker. I'm particularly fond of taking picture while driving in my car. Probably there's a psychiatric description for this. Note above one of my attempts to take a photo of downtown from Chester Ave around 4:45 pm.