Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Orleans 14-15.12.03: Red and Brown Cypress, Slate-Colored Swamps

Light fascinating perhaps more than ever in winter, when the world becomes a monochromatic gray. The way one ray picks out the stand of red and brown cypress in the slate-colored swamp . . . .

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This trip to New Orleans, seeing K. Fandal: I did not expect her to be lucid. I had long ago assumed (on what basis?) that she had lost mental acuity. The sharpness of the pain I feel at not keeping in touch, the bitter self-reproach: this is a tendency of mine, an ugly one. Life is littered with people I half knew and dropped.

Oh, the glorious sunrise! One of those symphonic mornings, when you look away to write, and in that instant, silently but with trumpets blaring somewhere, sky has turned lemon pink to dove gray and magenta, a momentous change of key and theme. The black tracery of winter tree branches accentuates the color.

Kathleen: I do feel deeply connected. But as people recede to death, I also feel helpless. It’s as if facilitate the process by withdrawing. Or is this something cultural, something Anglos do, our discomfort with facing and discussing the facts of life (and death)?

I am very glad we saw her. Today’s her birthday. May many blessings come her way today. But I’m also deeply ashamed of my carelessness. How did it happen? Yes, I knew my number and address for her were obsolete, but Steve had contact information. And yet when he called, it seemed she was out of it.

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