There was ramen with mushrooms and vegetables for dinner again, and now I'm finally getting around to baking that frozen apple pie I bought a couple of weeks ago. It probably won't be ready to eat until a bit after one o'clock. I'm thinking about attempting to make some hard sauce to put on it. I don't have any brandy, but there is still rum. I didn't drink it all last night. It just felt like I did. I'm still congested, with a cough and stuffy nose, but I can taste things a bit again. I had a nice, long, hot shower this evening, and felt better for it. I'm wearing my new, fleecy pajama bottoms with the snowboarding penguins on them. They are very warm and comfortable. The pajama bottoms, not the penguins.
Last night I started reading that unauthorized biography of Harper Lee I bought. One interesting thing that has come up that I didn't know is that Lee was the basis of one of the characters in Truman Capote's Other Voices, Other Rooms, a book I read ages ago but barely remember. I recall much more clearly his novella The Grass Harp, from around the same period, and perhaps the most evocative and sweet-natured of all Capote's works, and rather funny as well. I had a copy in one of the boxes in my garage, and always intended to hunt it down and reread it, but never got around to it before the fire. It was made into a pretty good movie back in the 1990s, with splendid performances by Piper Laurie and Sissy Spacek, but it was a box office failure and is now rarely seen.
That pie is smelling very good right now, and I'm impatient for it to be done and cooled enough to eat. I'm hoping it will help trigger some post-viral nostalgia. I usually get a bout of nostalgia when recovering from a cold, and if I get one this time maybe it will induce me to write something more interesting than the stuff I've been turning out recently. I've really been boring myself even more than usual lately. It would be nice to write a few more interesting pages before my brain slips into terminal dullness. But then maybe it has already. That pie certainly has its work cut out for it.
by Jane Hirshfield
Again the pyrocanthus berries redden in rain,
as if return were return.
It is not.
The familiar is not the thing it reminds of.
Today's yes is different from yesterday's yes.
Even no's adamance alters.
From painting to painting,
century to century,
the tipped-over copper pot spills out different light;
the cut-open beeves,
their caged and muscled display,
are on one canvas radiant, pure; obscene on another.
In the end it is simple enough—
The woman of this morning's mirror
was a stranger
to the woman of last night's;
the passionate dreams of the one who slept
flit empty and thin
from the one who awakens.
One woman washes her face,
another picks up the boar-bristled hairbrush,
a third steps out of her slippers.
That each will die in the same bed means nothing to them.
Our one breath follows another like spotted horses, no two alike.
Black manes and white manes, they gallop.
Piebald and skewbald, eyes flashing sorrow, they too will pass.