I was stirring the oatmeal this morning and christened the 50+ year old stainless steel Paul Revere pot, “The Red River Pot.” I chose this name because my Dad cooked Red River cereal for himself each morning in it. I suppose I could have co-termed it the “Campbell’s Soup Pot” in fairness to Mum and the many hundreds of tins of Campbell’s she heated in this sturdy vessel.
If I take 365 days a year and multiply them by 20 years I have eaten 7300 bowls of Campbell’s soups. I have not yet mentioned I was allergic to the great quantities of sodium laced into these soups. These caused me to experience, “soup rage.” I became unhinged after each serving but we all thought these out-rages were just part of me being Nicole and OD’ing on drama classes at school. It was when I terminated conventional and manufactured foods from my diet that the reason for my reactions became quite clear = allergic! to chemicals, additives, and preservatives.
When I cook oatmeal I take my time licking the wooden spoon after filling our bowls with the sticky, nutty, batter-like organic cereal. Blueberries, bananas, maple syrup, and cream: perfect!
Listening to CHQM-FM and a country singer, a neighbor of Johnny Cash, is singing a song of tribute to him. The singer says he loves crows; and Johnny Cash dressed like one! This made me laugh.
When I’m up late in here filling in this book I feel like I’ve kindled my special powers. I consider this time, “The Witching Hour:” my witching hour. It’s dark and raining. I’ve turned on the heat. A black figure reels down an inky Seawalk with a silver path from overhead lighting the walk under his feet. An orange umbrella appears like a gigantic flower moving in the black air.
Tucked into these sheets everything feels more comforting. Spilling over into this beautiful book with French white-lined paper receiving my feelings, my frets, my fears. I am releasing, reliving, and relieving. All I wanted was a serene, semi-elegant life of creating, contemplating, and finding my calling.
Instead I feel like I’m walking through a storm of sheets of paper that are flying helter-skelter in the wind’s force. The driving gale batters me with these pages. They’re blank and they act like moment to moment barriers blocking the way to my long range vision. I can’t see ahead, movement is slow, and interference is never-ending.
I was dreaming when the phone rang this morning. Bailey (my soft-coated wheaten terrier b.1986-2000) and I were on a bus together. She had her head in my lap and someone near me was with us; sort of. Someone further up in the bus criticized my having a dog on the seat. Inwardly I replied, “Dogs are perfectly clean.” Then Bailey and I were standing at the edge of a solid green lawn that could have been the perimeter of a golf course and it had an underlying coldness to the atmosphere and a darkness and it wasn’t a golf course and it was daytime.
Bailey was so real and yet I could feel the light weight of her skeleton confirming my knowledge of her passing in 2000. ‘The End’
Things didn’t seem so rough when I had “Snuffer” (Bailey). I’m crying a lot and Rand gives me a hug standing beside me as I sit here. He then brings me a big roll of toilet paper as I fill up a cocktail napkin and as if that isn’t enough he reaches for my Hermes scarf draped over a nearby chair and that brings up a laugh.
Bailey always took an interest in me: it was perpetual.
Maybe not being able to see where you’re going is a blessing. In our culture it is the norm to make plans, set out goals, and say what it is you’re going to do; not be buffeted about by the winds of change. Do I anchor myself, or do I set sail and observe the view. The latter I guess. I’m a romantic looking for adventure. I am??? When did this happen?? I wrote it, I must be feeling it. Now to try it.
Note: The exterior of our apartment building is being pressure-washed pre re-painting. Our glass enclosed solarium has lots of windy leaks and I have insisted we plasticize the inside of the glass walls and tape them securely in place.
The solarium has a plastic drop sheet taped over every window right down to the floor. It’s quite attractive the way the thin sheets diffuse the daylight. “I’ve put up my sheers!” I tell Rand.
Having left the sheets up to protect us from water and fumes from paint, we saunaed as we slept in the solarium for twelve weeks during summer’s premature arrival.
Question: Why don’t you sleep in a bedroom?
Answer: Because it’s tied up as a studio?
Email letter to a friend in late 2009:
“It’s exciting to hear the way our lives have somewhat paralleled each other’s. You’re right, it’s the freedom to lock up and go out the door that is most appealing about condo living. And yes, being near water is just as you’ve described it. Before we moved in I brought a friend over to see the space and as Katherine and I stood looking out to the enclosed glass balcony I suddenly shrieked, “I’m going to put our bed out here.” She laughed but she knew I meant it. I ordered an extra-long double bed, bought a funky chandelier at Jim’s Hardware across the street, placed 6 candles in it, and set 3 of Rand’s stone sculptures and my dead eucalyptus tree with tiny Christmas lights at the end of the room and I was done: all happy. I tend to open the windows wide before getting into warm covers. The one next to my head sometimes spits rain in. The mixture of mountain and sea air is gorgeous. The ‘best’ is the sounds of the waves throughout the night. Lots of freighters pass by with a long row of lights along the top of the hull and it can look like a necklace illuminated in the dark. The cruise ships that have passed (very likely with you and your husband on them) look most magical in the early morning light.
Three years after I did this I picked up a design magazine and saw an article displaying interiors with a bed as the focal point of the livingroom. YES!! It’s enjoyable, functional, and decorative when played up with textiles, pillow jungles, throws, books, mags, your dogs and cats. Tucked into these sheets everything feels more comforting.