Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunrise, sunset, repeat.

Here We Go Magic blares from two speakers behind me and white sangria is coursing in and out and in and out of my system faster than the speed of speach, gait, breath, laughter, light. I just got in (breathless) from an impromptu Girl Club on an Italian patio and am feeling alive, a light, and also adrift. All of the most important players were there, Rebecca, Sula, Hil, Lauren, Lo, Amy, Jill. These women that I needed to head bob with and smoke a single cigarette and drink sangria in the afternoon heat with. My morning began on a single note of solidarity that very quickly became a chorus of flapping birds bedazzled and top bunned and make-upped and floral patterned and tennis shoed and high heeled, throwing scandals and secrets and well wishes (of soon-to-be births) and darkness and lightness and much needed laughter across the anchor of our table littered with literature and empty cappuccino cups. If I never leave this city for another, it will be because of the women. Oh the women! It is true, this city is as littered with good women as today's table was with empty coffee mugs and half-read books. As coincidentally as the morning began, an impromptu rain shower followed suit in the late afternoon and draped itself over the neighborhood just as I walked in the door and slipped my feet out of the high heels du jour. Delighted by the perfect timing, I threw the window wide to inhale the smell and welcome the sudden temperature change. And I wrote. And I am writing.

My body has already started to listen to the subtleties of nature. Sounds ridiculous, but things sound different if given the opportunity. While guiding Jessica Alba through the streets within the past couple of days, I have been hearing birds chatter, the wind come up and slide back down to nothing, the rain, branches stretching out. A friend wrote to me and her letter was a gentle reminder that sound and space in the bush exist on a level entirely foreign to me. There will be no barely-there hum of the refrigerator, or beating of the shower in the morning. No flap of curtains, no crackle of needle meeting vinyl, or obnoxious sirens in the dead of night. "Erase it all", she wrote, "blank it out. No white noise or human distraction. It will be you, all alone; and if you allow it, you will hear the sun rise in the morning if you are very quiet". What? Okay. I laughed when I read that. She signed her letter, "just wait and see. Trust me". I trust you.

So, by tomorrow's end I will have already left the city, and gone to the country to do the last of the packing and organizing and folding. Saturday morning at dawn will call for the heaving of my hockey bag and MEC backpack into a car and I will leave for no man's land after what feels like a very long wait, moving in a dance of half terror and half delight. Maybe then I will be able to write again. Maybe I will be able to write after the dance of terror turns into an easy glide of consistency and predictability. Wake, eat, work, sleep. Maybe then I will write with ease, after I hear the sun rise for the first time in my life. Maybe, maybe not.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heavy boots.

My eyes burn from today's all consuming pre-planting weeping session in lover's arms and my fingers smell like pizza and fresh basil that said lover and I shared just one hour ago. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Time is slip sliding away through knobbly, hopeless, jittering fingers and after aforementioned crying fit this afternoon, I realized that there is nothing I can do but just go. I have been waiting to just go since the first hint of light poured upon the new year. Six months of waiting. Good bye last year, you were dark as hell. Six months and counting marks the waiting period behind the decision to leave and now the time has come: I am leaving for 'tree camp' as Andrew laughingly calls it in a few days. Boots, knife, tent, sheet, mat, khaki, tights, socks, etc. Things are packed, labeled, and tucked away inside one of one million ziploc bags that take up majority of my space. Today I took two very logical men with me to the boot store to pick out the right pair of planting boots (I felt like a blind person in a library) and together we whittled down our million dollar options until we were all satisfied that I was signing my feet (and credit card) away for the lightest, cutest (hardly), supportive pair of tree planting boots money could buy. Thanks Mike and Thom, you are good to me. I silently tested Thom's love by forcing him to accompany me around town while I broke in my boots. He was a great sport, I on the other hand, cowered behind trees and post boxes anytime I received a questionable stare. The time is nigh.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The dog that keeps on giving: Bagel King. Real name, Basil King; son to mama Lisel King. The Kings of my current court.

Anyone who really, really knows me knows my true disgust for dogs. Somehow, on a hot M'aidez in a park surrounded by friends, this little weasel with the weirdest fur stole my heart. Thom stole it first, but Bagel takes a close second. For the record, I still hate dogs. Save for the one below.

*scanning credit shout out goes to T Fougere. Thanks gem, you are such a babe it is very nearly disgusting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Expensive meat and a Modigliani.

Hello Jeanne Hebuterne, pleasure to meet you.

Barefoot at a drafting table. Grandma's gifted denim shirt draped loosely, sans bra, sans everything except this shirt that has so easily become a front runner in my weekend wardrobe. Thank you Helen for this shirt. I woke to the sounds of my Thom making espresso and ironing a shirt before work, hustle bustling before the clock struck eight thirty. With a surprisingly clear head and a happy heart, I lay and listened to him, feeling like the luckiest lady in all the land. Rain fell, and is still falling and all I keep returning to in thought is how beautiful Stef looked last night on her most precious day of her life. My dear friend and coworker a la Pear (amix), got hitched last night to the lovely Emery. They will have a good (looking) life and good (looking) long-haired babies. They were kind enough to request my humble hand a la candid photography and I obliged with thanksgiving. Sadly my camera decided to malfunction the day before the wedding but all was saved by my friend Tristan who supplied one of his cameras at the last minute. Thankfully our cameras are very nearly twins, so hopefully not all was lost in the switch. I will find out tomorrow, I suppose.

Anyway, the wedding. It was a Sunday wedding made up of babes, youth, good taste, warmth, laughter, good food, style, creativity and good music. What more could a bride ask for? She looked stunning in lace and her attendants looked stunning in their bright coral, baby blue and magenta frocks with tulle galore. I was lucky enough to be whisked away with the babe wedding party straight away following the ceremony to an undisclosed location via the vintage limousine. We pulled up in front of a brick mansion with an impressive red front door filled to the brim with chandeliers, Persian rugs, an original Modigliani, a full suit of armor and an Egyptian mummy. There was even a bust of Queen Nefertiti which looked pretty damn similar to the one at the Egyptian museum in Berlin. Yes, a mummy. I found a bowler hat, a top hat, an ancient telephone from the land before time, an upright grand piano in pristine condition begging to be played, porcelain galore, statues and busts on every surface, mantels laden with weird instruments, two cellos, more chandeliers, orchids, one Monet (!), and a slew of other oil paintings that were beyond my comprehension. Every inch of wall space was covered. I had never seen the like. Ever.

All of this belonging to a tiny Eastern European jeweler with a similar stature to that of my eight year old cousin Alex (except much fatter and hairier), whose name was John. John the jeweler, proud owner of four Rolls Royce, one vintage Jaguar and married to a now-dead Hungarian ballerina named Olana. "She was a real beauty. Damn shame her heart stopped beating one night in winter". Damn shame. Beautiful. I walked through that home with my mouth agape, a thousand unwritten stories racing through my head as the smell of a Sunday pot roast wafted through the rooms and hung in the air with a welcomed heaviness.

The smell of expensive meat, dust and orchids.

The sun room was the most impressive. A room smaller than the rest leaning against the brick work of the back of the mansion like a child hanging on a woman's hip. The sun room, about 8'x8' square was filled to the brim with every kind of plant known to man, windows for walls, and two sets of skinny French doors (my favorite type of door) leading into the kitchen and great room, also made of delicate glass. Skimming just above my top bun (about 5'11" above the hardwood) hung thirty odd chandeliers in all their bejewelled, bedazzled glory. Hanging crystals in the high hundreds. The light was unbelievable. Only five out of the thirty were connected to an electrical source. Seeing that room for the first time was pure insanity. My breath caught, arm hair stood to attention, eyes swallowing imagery as fast as the Rolodex of my mind could process. After I ran out of film (aggggggggh!!!!) and my other camera stopped working, the wedding party did their thing with the digital photographer and I wandered around until I found John in the kitchen. He sat comfortably in one of his many Eero Saarinen tulip chairs surrounded by knickknacks from around the globe. He stirred his tea and I drilled him about his house. Seventeen bathrooms, eleven bedrooms, thirty two fireplaces, one hundred and seven chandeliers, four garages, one bazillion bricks, three floors and five living rooms, all built in 1901. I will never forget it, as long as I live. To Stef and Emery, thank you is not enough.

The painting featured at the top of this post was the Modigliani piece I spotted on the west wall of John's great room, just below eye level in an ornate golden frame which coincidentally, happens to be one of my favorite paintings of all time: Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne.

I want to go back.
I want to go back.
I want to go back.

To say the very least, their wedding pictures will not be your run of the mill Jumping-in-the-Exchange District bologna (no offense to anyone who is into that jazz). For whatever it is worth, my sincerest congratulations go out to the couple with the best taste in town. Bologna is for the unimaginative; pot roasts are the new black.

Wishing I was a Hungarian ballerina, yours truly, Meg.