December 31, 2017
I usually figure it out in the course of the New Year's Eve festivities, which consists of me & Maggie having a giant hours-long conversation: how was your year? what does the year ahead look like? how are we going to accomplish our goals?
The best innovation in 2017 was identifying 3 top goals & focusing on them. I had a some additional ones but kept the heat on my top 3. So I will do that again this year, I expect. Last year it was easy: finish a manuscript, prepare for my karate promotion, improve my Norwegian. I'm not sure I'll come up with 3 as timely as these but I'll find out tonight.
Wake up! & Fight!
December 29, 2017
December 28, 2017
December 27, 2017
"Yeah, what's up," I said impatiently, in a hurry, in the cold.
"Can you buy me a $4 box of cereal?" he said. "I just asked everyone in the Rite-Aid & no one would." This was said a little indignantly.
"How is that not asking for money?" I said. (more…)
December 26, 2017
The woman standing next to me caught my eye. "He beats you twice, why you hanging round?" she said.
"You know that old song?" I said & and sang softly: (more…)
December 25, 2017
December 24, 2017
* Mercè had never been there, despite having lived in Spain her whole life. I liked the idea of being on somewhat equal grounds in both of us experiencing it for the first time.
* El Greco. The best museum show I ever went to was El Greco in D.C., maybe 25 years ago, with Janet. It was different to see him everywhere in Spain—in a church, in his house, in a museum, in the cathedral, in the sky & landscape he knew so well.
Still my favorite painter & I still can't really say what he does that no one else can. The humanity of his people, I guess. His apostles (this is Peter) are full of both grace & flaws. His Jesus is perfect yet human.
El Greco has only art on his mind. He paints what he has to.
Bonus reasons for going to Toledo: marzipan ("bread dough"), softer & less sweet than what I'm used to, & manchego cheese–it's from sheep & has been made there (La Mancha) for 2,000 years.
December 22, 2017
And the youngster I have so little connection with, the kid I've only seen a couple of pictures of. He graduated high school at 16, before he'd gotten his growth spurt. My main image of high-school Johnny is seeing him with his first wife, who was his high-school girlfriend. With Johanna, he's playful in a 1950s way, & I love watching them together.
December 21, 2017
At one point I thought it was going to be a book but it melted into this chapbook. Happy winter!
December 20, 2017
This hilarious, brilliant, sweet girl.
December 19, 2017
December 18, 2017
Then upstairs to look at Max Ernst & realize he was doing all the same stuff, by himself, 50 years earlier, & with training & talent.
I was a brat myself, then.
Like the señoritos I know in Madrid, (more…)
December 17, 2017
First there was a breath test: I had to blow one of those little balls aloft long enough to be graced with a tutorial. (more…)
December 15, 2017
December 14, 2017
December 13, 2017
December 12, 2017
This despite a cold that laid me low & kept me from the Seido holiday party & kids' promotion, among other fun events I'd been planning (or considering) to go to.
December 11, 2017
I did feel like I was embedded there, part of Mercè's family & daily life. I said of course when she asked if I wanted to just do & see what she loved, & since she is brilliant, wonderful & has great taste, I saw & had brilliant, wonderful & exquisite places & experiences: Toledo with El Grecos, marzipan ("bread dough"), & incredibly winding lost-inducing streets; an hour as we passed briefly through Madrid at the Prado for Velasquez, Goya & El Bosco (Bosch); the glorious Barcelona opera house—in a box no less!—for a family version of The Magic Flute; Girona with its Jewish museum in the former home of the Ramban (but no Jews); the medieval town of Besalú; the voluptuous beach town of Cadaqués, with its white walls and bright blue doors where Mercè spends a couple of weeks every year; her two little girls, who spent hours concocting vegetarian dishes; meeting her friends & sister; trying to understand the political situation .... all this in a week!
December 10, 2017
December 1, 2017