Earlier tonight, I roasted a chicken and assembled a kale salad with fig vinegar, sunflower seeds, and chopped rosemary and blood oranges; I made use of the extra fridge afforded by winter (the fire escape) to cool the leftovers of that earnest-lady feast before storing them. Now, from my quiet blue rooms atop an East Williamsburg hill, I’m drinking a glass of red wine and watching the city twinkle without me. It was a frustrating few days–egos flared, including my own–and if you could see me flanked by my somber little kitty at the kitchen window, you might think I was still mulling big stuff. Really, I’m just planning all the other meals I’ll cook and freeze this weekend–meat ragu, lentil soup, chile verde, cod and potato casserole–if the storm’s as bad as they say it’s going to be. It’s gotten to the point that, when meteorologists predict snow and hale, visions of furry slippers, 19th century novels, black-and-white musicals, and long-simmering stews dance before my eyes like sugarplums. They may call such weather harrowing; I call it cozy. And from there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to glamorous.
Ever since I moved my bed next to the window, the first thing I do upon waking is open the curtain. Then, settled against the pillows, I join the sun as she slowly rises, drifting back from the heavens where we’ve both been traveling all night. After decades of living in New York, I’ve become so attuned to my environs that my mood shifts right along with the indigo streaking into violet into rose into orange across the sky. Outside is inside, and on most mornings I find that fact beautiful.
I’ve had a melancholy week. My birthday was a disappointment and that was mostly my fault, which only makes me more melancholy. But each day brings a new sun, and I’m just easy enough to let her magic work on me. Tonight helped, too. I was crowded into a rush-hour subway, ogling a woman’s mermaid afro and fuming over a man standing too close, when I spotted a Poetry In Motion sign that was like another glimpse from my predawn bedroom window. The poem nailed the aloneliness* that develops when you are unwilling to mingle your sourness with others’, and reading it among so many strangers’ private smells and worries made me feel grasped by something better than my past. As did the quiet blue rooms to which I was gliding and which I’d built myself. It was the sweet knowledge I could begin again. Continue Reading →