Sunday, September 02, 2012

Collecting Oneself

    What’s wonderful about remembering someone you loved who’s dead, and they were colorful, is they can still give you  a laugh, even one you didn’t know at the time was funny.  For example, I have recently rediscovered Good Earth tea, and I remembered how I would meet Don at the Good Earth restaurant in Westwood.  And he referred to it once as “your smelly place.”  I tasted the tea and remembered that, and it made me laugh. 
    I don’t know how many years he’s been gone, but our daughter was eighteen when he died and she’s forty-six now.  You do the math.  Imagine something that can make you laugh all those years later.   I was a lucky woman.
    This has been a time of pulling it all together-- the past, the near present(Bali)-- letting go of regret and anger, stripping my life of things unnecessary to its healthy continuation, learning to be completely alone, except for Vince D'Onofrio-- I have eased myself into sleep nightly with Law and Order, and he is the detective, and they run the series continuously, but in its different seasons, put together, so I can see him gaining weight in the course of one evening, and wish I could comfort and counsel him, as he is palpably gifted, and handsome.  It threw me back to when I was living in Paris right after Bryn Mawr, and I wanted to save Judy Garland and Orson Welles, who were both there.  I never ran into Judy (or of course she would still be alive,) but I did pass Orson Welles on a bridge on the Left Bank, and he was talking to himself.  As bold as I thought I was, I was too respectful to interrupt.
        But this has been a great adventure, as I didn't know I had it in me to be so quiet for so long.  I have written little, but then in Bali I wrote a great deal, and the object here was Peace, which I was not quite sure I could achieve.  
      I think I have.  We'll see.
      But meantime I had beautiful closure last night with my family: Robert and Jennie who -- we'll see, Lukas who wanted to know if I was coming to his Bar Mitzvah June 29(I must not seem a very present Grandma that he could have any question-- Silas, who once again chided me for treating him or thinking of him in any way that was the same as when he was little-- "But we were very close then," I said.  "We're close now," he retorted.  So that's that.  The sense of joy and relief was a balm.
      On Tuesday I am off to New York.  It is a fearful time politically, but as I have written before though not here, I had the calamitous privilege to be in the San Francisco earthquake in '89 with the great Ann Richards-- we took shelter at Lia Belli's house, overlooking the marina, which was on fire-- and I said "what if __ (I can;t remember who was running for president) wins?" And she Texas drawled, "Then this country will find out what the Framers always knew, that it could run without a president."
    I hope we don't have a chance to find out. 
    Meanwhile, I love you all and wish you a Happy Autumn.  It can not come quickly enough.  I have had enough sun.