Having established (to my own satisfaction) that if indeed doting is foolish, fevered, a sign of our inescapable self-deception, the way we cling like a vine, dithering in the wind, to what once made us happy. . . Having established, at least, that the fond fool is not more foolish than the sad one, nor the angry, nor the grim and uncomplaining.
Is perhaps less silly than the fool who won't admit to foolishness nor hope nor any other thing with feathers.
And as, dealing with, and, all that(bodily fluids, failing ludicity, dying), finding over and over myself refreshed by the sky which I suddenly notice every day sweeping over the top of my day.
Small jokes. Music from a forgotten CD. Leaves turning.
And as I've already granted, been granted permission . . .
I Am Lately Doting On . . .
a blessed-happy-silly abecedary
Absolutes that aren't: nos and nevers that open into maybes, mystery at the heart of everything. What is there quite reliably, like a table, absolutely solid and able to bear, but also, at the same time, not in fact solid, in fact more space than solid when you get right down to it. (It being the sub-atomic level.) And on the other hand, the void that is not empty. I love that. That the final word has never yet been said.
Brevity, the idea of it, the wit in it, the unquenchable hope of it for myself, but also Brevity the Blog because it mails itself to me so regularly with small delightful bits and pieces.
Cinnamon on peaches to go in my oatmeal or my plain whole cream yogurt. Cream itself, for that matter, sour and whipped. Clever talk. Clever writing. And crockery for which I have a fatal weakness. And the color celadon which is evocative and also lovely to say.
Daughters, their undaunted freshness. Seeing the future in their faces. And liking it.
Embroidered sheets. And that someone who loves me puts them on the bed whenever I come visit.
Fascination. Finding it in a sudden phrase . . . it took seven years to complete and gave him a taste for creating fantastical environments . . . , in an image of geodesic domes and dreadlocks and a haunted house made of changing light on a white sheet. Finding it and suddenly knowing what I'll be writing next. How over and over these fits of fascination grip and compel the scribbling self, identifying yet another of the teraphim who mark out the boundaries of my home country: Julian of Norwich, William Morris, Maria Reiche, Gaston Bachelard, Helen Waddell, Josephine Butler, Susa Young Gates, William Penn, Alexandra David-Neel, Suzanne Haik-Vantoura, and now Jaron Lanier.
Grapes, black and muscadine. Google, and the instant gratification of idle curiosity.
Herbs - thyme, oregano, rosemary - spicy in the air on an autumn afternoon. Heroism, particularly the daily, down-to-earth, self-deprecatory and often very funny sort. Also hyperlinks.
Images (film, photos, open eye) and that I(despite the eyes I was born with) can see them. Also India (color, spices, saris, dance, ageless, ragas, lilting intonation, utility bicycles, Bollywood goofiness, clever technology, human dignity under duress, contradictions). And how it all comes together so beautifully on indiaphragme.
Justice and judgement, in the Old Testament sense: advocacy for the oppressed, the despised, the downtrodden, or as in the book of of Joel, where the patient earth itself is spoken to (and for):
Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: . . . Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. . . . for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
(And yes, I dote on the language of the King James in general, not just "the former rain moderately" but also "the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain" among other many millions of instances.)
Kisses. Not Hershey's, but Fritz's.
Lazy, lingering breakfasts because we have to get up so untimely now that our mornings are long and leisurely, full of conversation and early laughter.
Movies: going to the, imagining favorite books as, discoursing passionately upon. Music. In especial, music made in the open air, or back bedroom, for the fun, joy, or pure waily sorrow of it. Musical instruments. Musicians in their moment.
Neighborliness that gives me smiles on a bleak day, runs to open the door for me when I am burdened, waves me down to talk inthemiddleof the empty road, halfway up the hill.
Obituaries on the last page of the Economist. The brisk, in medias res boiling-down of a life into two-thirds of a page, with iconic photo. It has been my (not any more) secret ambition to appear in this gallery of rogues and heroes . . . and as significant heroism seems outside my reach, I've spent many happy moments trying to plan out some roguery sufficient to get me there.
Pencils - yellow Ticonderoga with green metal and pink erasers. Portland (also photo at top), in every season, though especially now when the virginia creeper growing on the walls along the main arteries blushes brilliant. Poems by Merwin, by Gluck, by Szymborska, by Housman, by Dickinson, by Li-Young Lee. ArtSparker'splayful photos of people long ago and the sinuous prose of People Running, People Walking.
Q-tips. The colored ones. Quiet quirkiness: the so ordinary woman - who keeps a lit-up, mechanically nodding, pink flamingo inside the front door of her manufactured home to remind her she has everything she needs plus, who sews small, beautiful quilts for the local animal shelter from scraps she collects online from around the world and mails off monthly boxes of exquisitely matched and stitched dresses for girls in Africa. And acorns and oak apples (from Quercus garryana) which will soon be falling in my town.
Red. Raspberries. Reading stories of redemption and returning prodigals (See: Home, by Marilynne Robison.) (Or if you are the wanderer, maybe you should Go: Home.)
Ten-year-old boys. The things they keep in their pockets. Their bursts of sudden sweetness. The way their hands and feet outgrow them. How they throw their arms around you. Their mouthful of uneven teeth.
Umbrellas. Sudden understanding.
Vividness in all its variety.
Wallpaper: my grandmother's. That it is in layers, that she chose each one, that I remember/recognize forgotten layers.
XY & Z . . .
For the unknowns that change everything suddenly, or gradually, and not necessarily in catastrophic ways.