One of my resolutions for 2022. And beyond, I hope! May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year, everyone. May it surpass the last two, a pretty low bar.
For the first day of fall, a poem by Paul Verlaine. Translation by Arthur Symons.
Les sanglots longs
Blessent mon coeur
Et blême, quand
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure
Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Pareil à la
—Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)
When a sighing begins
In the violins
Of the autumn-song,
My heart is drowned
In the slow sound
Languorous and long
Pale as with pain,
Breath fails me when
The hours tolls deep.
My thoughts recover
The days that are over
And I weep.
And I go
Where the winds know,
Broken and brief,
To and fro,
As the winds blow
A dead leaf.
What a joy to see longtime friends in person, after months of deprivation. It feels reasonably safe to gather outdoors, and what prettier setting than Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, at the peak of bloom.
A day in Alexandria donating art supplies, recycling electronics, delivering a cat cushion—during a pandemic, we get our dates however we can. A more romantic conclusion, though: together we admired the river from a bench in Founders Park, with coffee from Dolci Gelati.
If you like stumbling upon ruins overgrown by Mother Nature, this is the place for you: remnants of the U.S. Capitol, some dating back to 1818, that were removed during a 1958 renovation and tucked away in Rock Creek Park. More details on AtlasObscura.com.
There was a little confusion about the film title assigned for our Wednesday evening French group discussion.
What if you knew you’d be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm,
brush your fingertips
along the life line’s crease.
When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn’t signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won’t say Thank you, I don’t remember
they’re going to die.
A friend told me she’d been with her aunt.
They’d just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt’s powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked a half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.
How close does the dragon’s spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
Because there won’t be any in-person holiday bazaar for my cards this year, my website is updated (thank you Devin!) to do everything online. Please check it out, along with some new cards. I hope you like it. (Below, some discount codes.)
If you decide to order as many as 5 or 10, you may use the code 5FOR20 or 10FOR40 for a discount. If you are nearby and prefer a safely socially-distant pickup, use code PICKUP for no shipping, and contact me to make arrangements.
Because of the pandemic, the Washington Waldorf School’s annual Holiday Bazaar is online this year. But you can still join in socially-distant craft activities and patronize the Waldorf store and participating vendors (of whom I am one) by following the link. Hoping for in-person next year…