Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Art

I am sitting in a motel room in WI, Cora asleep in the bed, Chris at a concert, the room filling up with darkness as the world beyond the open window fills with evening birdsong and highway thrum, and I am thinking about that Elizabeth Bishop poem "One Art" and in particular, these lines:
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

I think I am thinking about these lines because earlier this evening we were all down
in the motel pool and at the end I was sitting and waiting for Chris to coax Cora out of the
water and my mind wandered to memories of our backyard pool when I was in high school,
and I was thinking that having that pool was one of the very best things about high school,
as I see it now. I loved being in that pool, lying on hot cement next to it after being in the
water for a long time, the feeling of the heat soaking into a wet suit. I would read stretched
out on the diving board. My brothers and I played games there - made up games of baseball
while sitting perched on boogie boards.

And I was thinking about places, bodies of water, I've left behind - that pool, the ocean,
a beloved lake, and soon a river, and those lines popped into my head. I am finding there is
something about a motel room, a cool evening, birdsong, a highway, and a sleeping child that
all conspire to make it very easy to think about loss. That is the art in Bishop's poem, after all,
the art of losing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Holy Moley It's a New Post!

Or that is what I imagine my mother saying. (And my other six readers, bless your hearts.)

I'm not going to to fill in from my missing time incident, but jump right to the important stuff, which is what I made for dinner tonight. The mixed greens stir fry from p264 of Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, with Napa cabbage, spinach, and hon tsai tai, the latter two coming from our beloved CSA (yes, we signed up again!). With brown basmati rice and a few variations (more garlic, more ginger, a little teriyaki sauce, and so on). Yum! Cora tried a bite of the greens, and while she didn't want more, she didn't spit it out. Round these parts, we call that a success. She did eat her bowl of rice, plus some cheese, ham, and crackers.

Today I collected the final papers from my students, and graded them. I was really pleased with the papers this time around, though frankly I had designed the assignment so that it would take a real act of homework disregard to screw it up. And then I was really happy to be COOKING and enjoying it again. I even have plans to make a cake tonight, still. I think it is partly that Chris is home again, that the semester is over, and also that we have made our decisions.

I can't say that our decision completely fulfills all my hopes for the next few years, but this year apart has also helped to clear up my priorities to the point where I am mostly content with the fact that we are moving to Grand Forks.

There. I said it.