Saturday, June 13, 2009

What My Mother Sent Me...

I need a small favor ... If it's not too much trouble.

I am going away on vacation, and I need a friend to come over to water my plants while I am gone. The plants are mostly geraniums and begonias. In the hot weather they'll probably only need water twice a day. I'll be gone only 21 days. I've attached a photo.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Confession Tuesday.

Okay, so I know it's Wednesday, but the unrelenting cloud cover is making me a bit bat-sh*t crazy at this point, so I'm a day late. I'll do better next week. Maybe.

Anyhoo, Confession Tuesday is a feature I've found on some of the poetry blogs I read regularly, and it's kind of fun. It is what it sounds like. Here goes.

Dear Reader,
  • I confess to having serious food co-op guilt. I joined the local food swap community online this year to get rid of our manic abundance of figs, which no one here likes, given their propensity to fall and splat on the patio, after which they start to resemble fetid little dog poops. There, I said it. But in exchange for the bags of figs I'm leaving out for folks to pick up, I'm receiving these amazing home-grown organic vegetables and other treats in return. Carrots, crookneck squash, swiss chard, herbs, goat's milk, and--this morning at breakfast--butterscotch blondies. I do NOTHING but collect the figs. I don't even OWN the tree--it's a rental like everything else here. And I feel a certain amount of guilt at taking people's hard-won goodies in exchange for what I can only describe as freeloader figs. Yes, I do.
  • I know I am supposed to love the rain and overcast skies known here as June Gloom, but I don't. I did my time in cloudy purgatory. I want the sun back. Preferably at a modest 75 degrees.
  • I confess I have weather standards.
  • I am a rapt patient of Dr. Google. I believe in pouring over symptoms online. What else am I going to do while I endure the Canadian wait until it's time for my next non-virtual appointment?
Okay, that'll do. Until next time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dream No More.

In October 2005, we took the honeymoon we'd put off for four years for lack of funds and time. We went to Rome, Florence, and Venice, shuttling through the lovely countryside between them on a train but choosing on this trip to keep company with culture rather than nature. In Venice, we practiced the fine art of getting lost, our pockets stuffed with maps we (mostly) happily ignored and simply following where the stone hallways that pass for streets there might lead.

As those of you who have been there know, labyrinthine does not even begin to describe it. One narrow alley shoots into another, spills into a corte--a small piazza with a stone fountain, or sometimes a church--that serves as a sort of joint between limbs, a connecting place, a flexible spot in which you might alter your course, picking a passageway that spokes off irregularly in a different direction from the one you entered by. At times, the streets are intersected by the canals, and you find yourself crossing quite the raised eyebrow of a bridge. Because these streets have walls, you are never quite sure what's coming, can never quite see what's ahead--which is, of course, the beauty of getting lost and the absolute beauty of Venice as an experience.

It was on one such trip out one evening, down some back streets of the Castello, one of the oldest sections of the city, that I rounded a corner and found myself looking down a few steps into a private courtyard. The whole place glowed with glass and lights. There were stone pillars and black wicker chairs around little tables, and I stopped in my tracks to gaze at the entry to this little boutique hotel that just looked so unlikely in that particular lost alleyway. I got wistful, in fact, wishing that I was coming back later that night to this particular oasis of peace and calm and glowing light, instead of the louder and darker and decidely chintzier hotel where we were staying.

I tried to remember its name, etched on the wall, but all I could gather of it later was that it began with an "L." I had dreams that took place in that courtyard. Oh, yes, I did. But, even though I ran various Go*gle searches on it several times over the years, its name remained a mystery. I thought maybe it was a "Locanda" (the Italian word for B&B), but none of the ones I found by searching online were right. I played with interactive maps of the area I thought I was when I rounded the corner into that courtyard, but I still couldn't be sure what streets we had wandered down when we found it.

Today, the mystery is solved. I found the place that sometimes appears as a mysterious backdrop in my dreams. And, now, in typical fashion, I'm not sure what to do with it. Yes, it's a lovely hotel. No, I won't be staying there any time soon. And, yes, that expectant, uncanny, SecretGardenesque feeling I had that night is no longer there when I look at the pictures of the place on the website. It's the right courtyard, I'm certain of it (although minus the flags and umbrellas and drapes and ferns--in my memory, it had cleaner lines). But context is missing. And perhaps context is everything.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Calling All Party-Goers...


Hey, we're having a party a couple days before July 4th, to celebrate Independence Day Weekend and to take advantage of the amazing fireworks that the nearby club sets off in the sky above our house. I know some local readers of this blog might want to come and hang out with some bloggy people they know, but I don't have your email, if that's you, just comment on this post and leave me your email address, and I'll send you an invitation with all the details. My comments are moderated, so your email address and/or name won't appear here online; they'll just be deleted. Hope you can come!

Colorful Language.

According to one doctor, I probably have the beginnings of endometriosis. I'm at the right age (perimenopausal). I have the right history (screwed-up hormones). I have never given birth (confused organs). But it can only be confirmed by a surgery I'd rather avoid having.

According to another, my pelvic floor believes itself to be in distress, and I should see a physical therapist who specializes in neuropathologies.

He was the one who started off our meeting by asking, so, are you a real poet?

Later in our conversation, he glanced up from his notes to acknowledge my weight--my rather large weight in comparison to my stick-thin days of yore--his eyes never making it all the way up to meet mine but just sort of nodding in the direction of my mid-section: our bodies tend to trick themselves when all they do is sit in front of a computer all day, he said.

Yes, I said. Yes, of course.

I am sure the explanation for why I didn't come up with something a bit more colorful to say at that point is that my brain was having trouble getting past the term pelvic floor.

Yes, I'm sure that's it.