Archive for February, 2008

On being in love

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

My own laundry list for being in love – easy on the eye (check), makes me laugh (check), fits in with my friends and family (check), wants a child in their life (check) – it’s the lagniappe that I forgot to mention in my own list to myself. That someone could love profoundly like me, have the depth of person to unfold slowly, and then to top it off profess that love in such a fashion as to make me swoon over an email, a text message, or save the sweet voice mail message to replay over and over. Alas, my love seems to have a list that is boundless in its own right and sends me sweet missives such as below:

Kafka: Letters to Milena


Since I love you (and I do love you, you stupid one, as the sea loves a pebble in its depths, this is just how my love engulfs you–and may I in turn be the pebble with you, if Heaven permits), I love the whole world and this includes your left shoulder, no, it was first the right one, so I kiss it if I feel like it (and if you are nice enough to pull the blouse away from it) and this also includes your left shoulder and your face above me in the forest and my resting on your almost bare breast. And that’s why you’re right in saying that we were already one and I’m not afraid of it, rather it is my only happiness and my only pride and I don’t confine it at all only to the forest.


Travel has a romantic sound but in actuality it is tedious most times.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

In the rush to get ready to leave for a business trip, I have thought of at least seventy four things I have not done to get ready to leave. Meanwhile, the lure of the open road always tugs at me, but the reality is that every time I leave the LaLa it feels like you are pulling candy out of my mouth – the sunlight looks so pretty on the eggplant colored sheets as it comes through the wood slat blinds, the temperature is one degree short of perfect, my sparkling water bottle is half drunk in the fridge and will be flat when I return and there is always that one banana – perfectly ripe – that I don’t want right now, but won’t wait for later. 

A friend said to me the other night that she is tired of travel and moving and all of the nonsense – she wants to stay put and have her coffee in the morning at her table, with her lamp lit, and her reading glasses nearby and her trusty dog at her feet. Sigh.  

Only one thing to do – make the travel better by inserting faraway fun. And always remember what Confucious say – woman who goes on journey, comes back changed.  

What I know most about me

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.

  – WH Auden

Keep moving towards me – modifying my view – dismantling me

Monday, February 25th, 2008




To show your grandchildren

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Neighbors celebrated their anniversary in style yesterday – riding their bikes over in their PJs and then switching to their wedding garb for a procession in the bug. They were re-married on February 29th four years ago – so they have very special anniversaries – having to wait four years between each one. 


Distant music

Monday, February 25th, 2008

T sends me this poem after I visit my grandparents’ gravesites with mom:


Ideal and beloved voices

of those who are dead, or of those

who are lost to us like the dead.


Sometimes they speak to us in our dreams;

sometimes in thought the mind hears them.


And with their sound for a moment return

other sounds from the first poetry of our life —

like distant music that dies off in the night.


Constantine P. Cavafy (1904)

Here is a clip of mom at her father’s gravesite – it’s uncanny how much she is beginning to look like her mother (and she said old people all look alike – they don’t). We were looking for her Aunt Dolly’s tombstone but couldn’t find it. My grandfather is buried right next to his parents, who both died before I was born:

My own private Valhalla

Monday, February 25th, 2008

One of the great things about T is her love for New Orleans. She had an opportunity to move elsewhere and couldn’t imagine not living here. 

I woke melancholy without her – her first night out of the compound as her friends refer to the LaLa – it was a stunningly gorgeous day and there was a marathon passing in front of the house. Roy hung his usual “TURN FOR THE WORSE” sign up right at the bend and he made a enormous batch of grits and grillades and biscuits, along with the requisite mimosas. 


We sat on the porch and watched the runners and hooted and hollered for the first one by, the first woman by, the almost naked ones, and anyone with any semblance of a costume on. My neighbor brought her 5 month old son by – who is adorable – my other neighbor had her five month old yellow lab puppy pulling against his leash – and friends stopped by in stages to sit and talk, watch, eat, and drink. 

The day was perfect when T came riding up on her bike – finally getting over this bug that has gripped the entire neighborhood. 

When mom and I were headed to Franklinton yesterday to visit the gravesites – we passed a place that had a sign hanging loose from a pole that said VALHALLA. I jokingly told mom, oh that’s where Valhalla is – and she asked in earnest, “Do you think they allow visitors?” – which cracked me up. 

I love this place – New Orleans, Bayou St John, LaLa – like no other in the world – and I do believe I have found my own private Valhalla. 

A metaphor for peace

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Mom tells me as we drive across the Causeway, matter of factly – “They’re shooting the doves again.” 

She calls the police on them, but she says the police no longer respond. “I can’t bear to hear it,” she says. 

Dove – what a beautiful name and image the word conjures – peace. 

Gravesites and Memories

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Mom threw a drama fit yesterday saying her mother’s birthday is today and she needed to go see her grave. Unable to say no, I drove her to Franklinton this morning, where we laid a black pebble on my grandmother’s tombstone. The grave is in front of my uncle’s house and his grave is next to hers. Someone put a porcelain photograph of my grandmother – Mae – on the tombstone and in it she is smiling a devilish smile. Warmed my heart to see her face, and made me long for younger years when a visit to those parts included a big warm hug from her. 

We next went to my grandfather’s grave, which is down the road a ways. She pointed a shotgun at him a long time ago and told him to get out of the house after catching him with another woman. Another woman that he went on to live the rest of his life with and who loved him like the rising sun. 

In that graveyard were scattered many small tombstones that read “Infant Daughter” or “Infant Son” of various people buried there. My mother stood staring into space and I asked her if she had seen a ghost and she just smiled. Meanwhile, I am dreaming of babies again – babies held close to me – always my arms are heavy with these phantom babies. 

Zia, the Fearless NonLesbian

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

J likes to call me Zia for zealous – she suggests I’m, well, how do you say in English, a little over the top.

T asked me on Mardi Gras day, “Are you Lesbian?” – deliciously dropping the article with her sexy Croatian accent – I said to myself, “No, but I am now!”

This morning, picking up T’s bike at Bayou Bicycles, I saw R, who called gently from the back of an SUV – “Rachel?” – in the form of a question, and I said, “Hey! I want you to meet my girlfriend!” and beckoned T over enthusiastically. 

Her Brazilian friend wonders if I, a nonLesbian, will be able to handle being with a woman.

[T sighs and says out loud, “I don’t have to worry about outing my girlfriend.”]