by Angeliska on July 14, 2010
It’s been awhile since I’ve made a Magic Windows post!
I sometimes forget that I always have a camera on my
phone, and even the pictures aren’t ideal, they usually
come out good enough to share. Trying to capture the
beauty I come across. To remember, to revel in it.
The other night at a birthday party I spied these fancy moths.
I got up on a chair in high heels after much wine to take the
pictures. Probably not a great idea, but I had to do it! Glad I
did too, because I love the patterns of the insects, the lacy
porchlight shade, the rough asbestos siding. I love what
you find hanging around porchlights on summer nights
(mostly, anyway). I’ve never seen a luna moth in person,
but it is one of my great wishes too one day. Have you?
Sometimes you alight on a book you’ve always meant to read,
and once you start, you can’t imagine how you waited so long.
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is like that for me. For some reason,
I’ve waited a long time to come ’round to the Southern Gothic canon.
Maybe because it’s always been too close? Now that’s a comfort,
to be able to enter into those old towns, old ways again – terrible
days as they were – for sure they’re nearly gone now. I was usually
escaping the claustrophobic confines of spanish moss draped quiet
streets – the same I biked down every night, forsook them instead for
books that took place in chilly London, in dark New Crobuzon or
bloody Ciudad Juárez. Oh, but now – I think I’m ready to dive in
and swim on home. I started with Eudora Welty, and fell in love
with her prose. Carson, though! She just kills me. Flannery’s next
on my list, oh and Katherine Anne Porter – man, I think it’s all about
the ladies for me right now! Though I need to finally dig in to some
Harry Crews, too. Reading these authors feels right in the summertime.
Here’s something Flannery O’Connor had to say about it that I like:
“Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque
by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going
to be called realistic.” There’s something I need to dig for here,
in that black alluvial soil where the stories come from. These places,
and the memories they hold. It’s part of the reason why I live down here,
why I want to stay. That, and the weather. Also, friendly people!
Back to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, oh! I’ve never read any
book that captured so well the sense of painful longing, the restlessness
of people trapped in between, walking dark summer streets aimlessly,
looking for something amazing to happen. I know that feeling so well.
“This was her, Mick Kelly, walking in the daytime and by herself at night.
In the hot sun and in the dark with all the plans and feelings.
This music was her—the real plain her…
This music did not take a long time or a short time.
It did not have anything to do with time going by at all.
She sat with her arms around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard.
The whole world was this symphony, and there was not enough of her to listen…
Now that it was over there was only her heart beating like a rabbit and this terrible hurt.”
— Carson McCullers
Tomorrow I start this one. I’m so grateful that I snapped it up when I s
saw it, and now have it on hand to begin. It’s so painful when you fall
in love with an author and nothing else will do. I like that I’ve been
finding these 70′s paperback editions, too. I love the cover designs,
their compactness, and nostalgia-inducing aroma. Delicious books!
On a completely unrelated note, I painted my fingers and toes green
today. I cannot budget manicures or pedicures anymore, alas, and
so must attempt to get better at not making it look like a messy child
did it. I feel like I have glittery emerald beetle carapaces in place of
nails. The color is called “Ivanka”, but I’ve decided to re-name it
“Divine Decadence” after the shade Sally Bowles favored.
The polish is made by Zoya, a company that eschews chemicals – they are
all formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate(DBP) and camphor free! Not
that it’s still not kind of bizarre, and probably still somewhat unhealthy to
paint lacquer on your claws, but hey. I stopped painting them for years
and years, because I always work with my hands, and they chip so fast.
But it does cover up the dirt constantly embedded under there from
gardening, and helps me not viciously gnaw my hangnails. So! Polish.
I’d like to get Edyta, Adina and Akyra. Still looking for the perfect mint.
The other afternoon, I got to hang out with my little fairy godson, Sascha.
He shares my love for cuckoo clocks, and played with them for a long time.
It’s amazing to watch children at play. It’s very intense, very focused. I read
something recently that talked about what we really are doing when we are
“at play”. It’s very valuable work! I remember how intent I could be when
playing with my dolls, or building forts, or digging. I learned about this odd
UK site called Ghost of The Doll from Miss Lorra Faye Stranks recently –
if you were a child of the 80′s that didn’t grown up in an ashram or
something, you can bet that something you adored is listed there.
I wasn’t expecting such a visceral flood of memory as I clicked through
pictures of My Little Ponies, but seeing them again brings me right
back to that space of being so completely absorbed in combing
candy colored manes, or making them talk, or prance about or
whatever. I remember all their names, the personalities we gave them.
Children’s toys surely can absorb some of that focus, wouldn’t you think?
Even the crappy plastic ones, I reckon. See anything there you remember?
Sascha’s the best. I love that we can have little conversations now.
It’s pretty amazing to know someone from the very first day they were
born, and then to see them acquiring language. It’s magical indeed.
I know I’m biased, but honestly, I think he’s the most marvelous child ever.