Sunday, November 24, 2013

Autumn day

God, it's time. Summer was long.

Cast shadows on the sundials,

and let the winds loose on the fields.

Urge the last fruits to fullness; give them

just two more sun-warmed days

to move to ripen, to squeeze

their final sweetness into heavy wine.

Anyone with no home now

will not be making one.

Anyone who is alone

will live on long alone,

will stay up, read, write long letters,

and wander the streets, up and down,

restless, while the leaves blow.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


You have not left me, but I am bereft. The weight of the day is getting too heavy for me to bear. What shall I do tomorrow morning, when my eyes open and the first thing they see is the empty space where you would be?
What are you doing now, on the other side of this world? Your night is my day. Your voice can only travel across the wires, your words can only reach me sealed on a screen. 
And I could say I miss you, but that would have no meaning. There is no word yet for losing a part of your days, consigning them to dust and looking ahead, only ahead...when I see you next, I am afraid I will hurt you. (Your bones may break under the weight of my breath.) My head will break the surface of this dark water at the sight of your face. Are you ready? 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Curmudgeon on board

I always find myself mildly annoyed by those ubiquitous "Baby on Board" signs you see on cars these days. Your baby is in a car: so what? The maniac on the road will still drive like a maniac, regardless of whether it's a baby on board or a kangaroo. Even having said that, what really got my goat was a similar (pink) sign I saw yesterday: Princess on Board. 
Yes. That is exactly what we need. To feed more messages to girls about the 'princess myth' as I have begun thinking of it. When exactly did this happen? When did it become the be-all and end-all of little-girl-hood to be a 'princess'? No disrespect to those born into royal families. But is being a princess really something aspirational, I wonder. The message is...what, exactly...that you are entitled to some sort of special treatment because you are a princess? 
Maybe I am totally missing the point of it. Maybe it is just a phase and should be encouraged, just like any other desire a little girl may express with regards to what she wants to be. But the more I see the slightly nauseating sea of pink, glitter and purple that the 'Girls' toys are at the big toy store, the more I cringe. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Mis días sin tí son tan oscuros
tan largos, tan grises
mis días sin tí

Mis días sin tí son tan absurdos
tan negros tan duros
mis días sin tí

Mis días sin tí no tienen noches
si alguna aparece, es inútil dormir
Mis días sin tí son un derroche
las horas no tienen principio, ni fín ...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


This dog seems to know exactly how I'm feeling. 

If only I could look so cute while seeming to give up hope and vanish into the ground.

Monday, November 18, 2013

An afternoon story

Crocodile Rock
Snorkeling is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Despite my terror of deep water, jumping in and floating around, looking down into the world below really floats my boat. (What a clever turn of phrase!)

There is a rock somewhere on a beach in the Andaman Sea. I have named it Crocodile Rock, and I spent an afternoon there not so long ago with the people I love best.

I love the jagged feel of sand strewn with seashells and the way the water looks when it's lit with sun from way above. I love the sound of the sea when you dip your face in it and open your eyes.

 I love the idea of keeping an afternoon in your memory like a tangible thing, like a jewel in a box.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ever since I started living independently many years ago, my relationship with food has been somewhat up and down. Pretty soon I realized that I am not what you would call a foodie: I have my favorites, and I love whatever my mother cooks. But going mental over food, the idea of food, looking forward to the next meal, dreaming about food, photographing food and writing about it, creating all just escaped me. 

And now the older I get, the more I see that food and I are like a pair of tempestuous yet long-distance lovers. Sometimes, we meet. And sparks fly. I fall in love, food becomes one of the highlights of my life, and I rhapsodize over whatever's on my plate. (This happens only when I am on vacation. I choose one particular aspect of my lover to drool over: sometimes it's seafood, sometimes desserts, or exotic fruits...)

But now, I have reached a point when I do not want to be bothered with food. I find it taxing to eat three or more times a day. I read somewhere that there is a nutritional supplement you can take that spares you the effort of actual food, and this idea appeals to  me. I would gladly partake of food only on the weekends. 

Part of the issue is that I have to face institutional meals for most of the week. The aesthetics of mass-prepared food have always turned me off, and now I find that in my current state of emotional stress, my stomach plainly rebels at every such meal. 

What to do? I have been going counter to my own body's signs and eating more than usual, simply because I know that given a choice I will eat a miniature portion every time and face the further horror of losing more weight. That won't do now will it? 

All this angst has been brought on no doubt by having just spent some time in the kitchen cooking an actual meal from scratch. The process was satisfying, the aromas wonderful, and the end result lovely. So now what? I am struck by the fact, as though it is the first time, that I have actually created food...I have put something together that I take pleasure in eating. It always baffles me when this happens, because I know it simply won't last. Come Monday, and I will be back to wishing I didn't have a stomach to feed. 

My life is so difficult! If only I could soothe my soul with chocolate cake. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


J's father died two days ago.

I was sitting on the sofa yesterday afternoon and I saw a helicopter droning as I looked out through the window. The sky was a very clear blue and the sun was hitting the palm trees. Everything was still except the helicopter. For some reason, this made me think of dad's soul being carried away from us.

Now, every time I see a flying thing, I think of him traveling even further away. 
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