My friend Cynthia Winton-Henry sent me the following from a wonderful poem by Rupert Brooke called "The Great Lover."
"These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such--
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns. . . . "
I love the poem for the gritty little details, the intimacy, the naming. I can't get my arms around love. It's too big. I can only talk about the sweetest smallest things: C bringing me coffee in the morning, our hour together before he goes off to work, watching the sun rise through the windows and eating and having breakfast in bed, talking quietly.
It's not the roses and chocolates. It's not being perfect. It's being ,messy and imperfect, and wrestling with the sticks and thorns in the front yard, the scheduling and bills, and laughing about it all, finding something in it always to laugh together about...
Yesterday, I ran a few errands with Carla. She is going to Mexico soon, to ride the waves with her boy while she still can. We shopped for bathing suits, the activity which only a potentially fatal illness can truly put into perspective (just kidding! Kidding!) We looked all over, had fun in chi chi little stores with wonderful sales. I bought a pair of black pants made out of hemp, and a cute, gauzy reversible skirt for only five dollars. Carla found some sweet things too, but no bathing suit. Then I remembered I had some new ones in the trunk of my car, and one of them--a little black maillot--fit her pretty well. Score!
By the way, not that I'm keeping track of points or anything, but she agrees with me completely: the fact that I sat through Norbit the other night with C (not only did I watch it with him, I went out and bought it for him, how cool of a girlfriend does that make me?) earns me not one but TWO chick flick evenings from him.
I have been buying tons and tons of movies lately; there's a store called Silver Screen video that always has lots of great used ones on sale and it's only a dollar or two more to buy them than it would be to rent them--and considerably less than to watch them in a theatre. I feel guilty about this, because I know the whole dvd thing is killing small movie theatres--and I do love them, with their smells of old popcorn, their worn red carpets with squashed kernels underneath--but I'm also addicted to the "Special features" on DVDs.
The other night we watched The Last King of Scotland, which was magnificent. I loved the central relationship between the two men--it was seductive, without being overtly erotic. And they were both brilliant--Forest Whitaker and James MacAvoy.
Norbit was a slightly less elevated viewing experience, but I loved watching the special features, seeing how Eddie Murphy gets into each role with the help of fat suits, prosthetic teeth, wigs, make-up, etc. It's an incredibly involved process; the make-up is an art form unto itself. He plays an elderly balding Chinese man in Norbit and completely disappears into the part.
Then last night a convening of the Libra Girls to celebrate all of our recent and upcoming adventures--a half-marathon, job change, possible trip to Macchu Piccu, and my opening in Detroit. They made me tell the story--every detail--and laughed and cried with me. And remembered for me, how long I worked on this play, Saying Kaddish (which still is waiting final revisions,) and how much faith it took to come this far. Meanwhile, my friend Tim and I are forging ahead, making a radio play out of the hot tub drama. I may or may not play the female lead...radio is great, I won't have to wear a bathing suit.