My son came to spend the day with me on Thursday, called me as he was getting off his overnight shift at the firehouse to ask if I'd be home, and if so he would hang out for a while. I love when this happens. I always know he's going to put something on the TV then curl up on the couch and go to sleep, while I work at the dining table, happy to be able to look over and see him there. I probably talked more to my daughter on video chat while he was here than I did with him, as he was mostly dozing. Meanwhile my girl was giving me decorating ideas for the living room refresh, lovely ones, as she's in her 20s, and still very plugged in to her design preferences.
I'm not ignoring the news, the men on horses at the southern border whipping desperate, refugee Haitian families and driving them into the river. The tragedy of the missing all American princess, her body now found in the wilderness, her disappearance ruled a homicide, highlighting all the other missing persons who were not blond and white, and about whom law enforcement and the press did not care. Arizona spending millions on a vote recount and finding no fraud. The ongoing debacle that is Congressional procedure, where one or two assholes can destroy any worthy endeavor. I'm not ignoring it. I just don't have the emotional resources to write about any of it right now. I am scraped bare by the relentlessness of the news cycle.
I've decided to risk going back to choir this fall. Everyone is required to be vaccinated and we will sing through masks. We won't hold the customary end-of-term concerts, we'll just gather and sing for the joy of it. The group will be small, 17 souls compared to the usual 30 or so, and only one of my four dear friends who are usually in the group will be returning. But another friend is going to try it out, see if she wants to join. She is a neighbor I have become close to in the last two years, with whom I sometimes sip flavored seltzer or wine on her terrace while watching the afternoon light shift into evening.
We first met years ago when her son and my son were young and used to play with other kids in the courtyard, and we'd sit on the benches watching our boys while bemoaning their resistance to homework. Our sons are now full grown, hers is married, and she has two lovely granddaughters who live in my building. Though I had often seen her and her husband going on walks together, and thought how cozy and together they seemed, she has since amicably divorced and now lives in a light and airy apartment two buildings over. It turns out even without homework-allergic sons in common, we're very simpatico.
The book writing is going very slowly. I have had to adjust my 1,000 words a day target to a minimum of three solid paragraphs a day. If I achieve that, I consider it progress. I really am picking my way, figuring out the path as I go. I realize I've been telling myself how hard this had been, and maybe it's time to decide it can be easy. It's worked before! The photo up top is of a room at Jake's Treasure Beach, a place on Jamaica's south coast that I have yet to visit, but in whose gauzy serene spaces I yearn to be. Can you imagine being able to awaken to that turquoise sea and spend the day writing and dreaming there?
*Whispers, this can be.