23 4 / 2014
22 4 / 2014
21 4 / 2014
Yesterday I saw a beautiful girl doing yoga in the airport. She was so beautiful, in fact, that the scene was almost an affront. What a good idea, really (I’ve never been inside it, but the San Francisco airport has at least one yoga room), and yet, how dare this lithe creature be so flagrantly excellent in public? What an odd feeling to have, and nothing more than a disguise of envy.
The girl was in first class, after all, but by then I’d identified and mostly talked myself out of the envy. I envy all my dearest friends, nearly everyone I love, to some degree. Just today, I got to see my friend S, an extraordinary person I have envied now for decades, and I found new things to envy about her (her muscles are toned, just like the air-yoga girl), and I love her more than ever.
20 4 / 2014
Flying into New York can feel quite magical—as today, amid the rainbow glow of sunset, or in the brilliant coldness of a November night. Mr. Z and I sat in that remote first row of coach, for which you pay in class-envy what you gain in legroom.
The additional space let me lean over him to catch a better glimpse of the horizon and the mottled-glass, seemingly motionless ocean. We made out Prospect Park and considered the minute scale of our poor, waiting kitties.
The sky was a rainbow, the land twinkling green, the water like a skin; I was thinking about the swirling sunset, wondering if there was any truthful or useful way I could write about it.*
Maybe not. But it did make me feel elated and just crazy about Mr. Z. I didn’t even mind that the flight attendant nudged me to straighten my seat-back, pulling my eyes away at the very instant of the sun’s final horizon dip.
The motion of waves just began to appear as our craft dipped and tilted toward the water, which moved as one enormous body. The sky was sapphire; we descended right onto the tarmac, spilling out of our small plane on a little set of stairs, feeling (at least, I was feeling) like Beatles.
*For some really neat bits about light and color, do as I did, upon returning home, and watch the 1994 series Connections², episode 2, “Sentimental Journeys.” In it, James Burke travels through history and through India. He is British, and has probably felt a tad Beatle-like at one time or another.
19 4 / 2014
16 4 / 2014
I am in writer-love with Alice Dreger, who I found through the essay, “Leaning Out.” She conveys by counterexample (though from a place of significant accomplishment and plenty of lean-inliness) what seems so unbalanced and off-kilter about the “Lean In" attitude (as I secondhand understand it).
That is, the things you must sacrifice to lean-in completely (is that a 45-degree angle or just a straight line?) are the most important. Truthfully, I’m sure the Sandberg book has value and maybe particularly would have value for me. Perhaps I’ll see if Feminist Book Club wants to read it.
Back to new writer-hero Alice Dreger. This piece, about sex research and why it’s important, reminds me again that I need to tell you all about Thy Neighbor’s Wife. I have been reading it slowly, in between other things, which is fine because it is fascinating and brilliantly written.
From it I today learned that Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, had lost all digits but the thumb of his left hand. Talk about lean-inliness, tho:
While the loss of the fingers initially depressed him and haunted him with “delusions of sin,’ and greatly limited his virtuosity at the piano, an instrument he nonetheless continued to play, it had little effect on his future career as an obstetrician, poet, novelist, husband, father, wartime anarcho-pacifist philosopher on the BBC, gerontologist, and participating sex researcher.
In the ten years that followed the accident, in fact, he published ten books.
15 4 / 2014
Feelin blue from lack of sleep. Lacking sleep because I woke up in the middle of the night to peep at the lunar eclipse, of which I saw a sliver, in my coat and pajamas, wandering around the block. I encountered one guy, walking in the opposite direction, who actually said hello to me; I had an urge to ask him if he’d seen the moon (twas right behind him), but felt I felt it was too early and too strange to ask anything of this stranger.
I didn’t have the energy to see the eclipse through to the point at which the moon turns red. Clouds cluttered it up, I felt sleepy and ridiculous, if a little giddy, and I went inside.
A melancholy mood, however tangibly pinpoint-able, is a seeping fog, spilling into everything, browning and tarnishing all that is probably perfectly fine.