Brrr...! It's 30 degrees here as I type this, wearing long underwear, two T-shirts, two sweaters, a coat and a hat. Note: I am IN my bedroom. Yes, the space heater is on, but feeble as it is, the fuse keeps blowing because Masankho also has his space heater on, and Leyra is trying to dry her clothes. So finally I get to be the artist in the garrett, although happily I can report that I am not starving at all, in fact I've got all the food I want downstairs and no need to put anything in the refrigerator since the house is so cold.
There is also an epidemic of head lice at the school where I am a poet in residence, so I have had my brown wool hat on all day, and haven't stooped next to any third grade desks...I'll be wearing the hat to bed tonight also, along with most of the rest of the clothes I've got on. This is some freak Arctic wind coming down on us from I don't know where. The Arctic, I guess. It's amazing to think of the power of the wind, invisible but so potent. Of all things in Nature, the wind seems to me to be closest to God.
My friend Ruth is packing up to move to Western Massachusetts (where they have had no snow and it's a balmy 50 degrees out.) She and her girlfriend will drive across country to get there, taking the Southern route. My cross-country trips with Alan (we did it four times) are among the best memories of my life. It's probably not socially responsible, given global warming (where IS global warming tonight, when we need it? Just kidding!) but it is wonderful to drive through small towns and Southern cities, listening to people and talking with them, eating bread and drinking coffee at little local bakeries, seeing the sights (I still remember the six-legged steer in Kansas, it was the only thing advertized along the highway for miles, and I mean miles...)
I went over to her house yesterday to say good-bye and go for one last soak in her hot tub overlooking the bay. I've spent so many happy evenings in that tub with Ruth, talking about everything from love to poetry to dating, to families, spirituality, sex and houses...healing waters. Healing presence. I'm also inheriting a beautiful couch and some chairs from her. Having her be in Massachusetts doesn't feel like so much of an "away" move to me, since she'll be in the same (tiny) state where my whole family lives, it will be easy to see her on visits East.
Tomorrow night I go see Elizabeth and Theron perform a dance/theatre piece set to one of my poems, The Beautiful Two-Year-Old Boy at Crosspulse in San francisco. A taste of things to come--five months till the production of See How We Almost Fly, in May.