Friday, October 19, 2012

The change

I am sure it will wear off, oh, somewhere around January. Perhaps December (one mustn't forget the loaded month of November). The thrill of cooking fall produce, I mean.

This was the first pumpkin in the kitchen. And I have no idea what is was because it was nameless. Deep orange, quite round, but slightly pressed down at the stem end, about the size of a soccer ball, with that pretty green stripe beneath the skin. Very hard to cut. Flesh tending toward mealiness but saved by the introduction of lime juice and olive oil, becoming, then, like chestnut.

The drink holds my Brooklyn bitters, started in July and opened last week - very satisfactory; shaken up with red currant gin. Now gone.

I write this post at night, and as I type and tap at the keyboard I hear tiny peeps coming from the Brooklyn night. I stop for a while,  to make sure. The stove is on low to my right, a hiss and a deeper gasp as the gas kicks in to re-light the long burners every so often, cooking a cassoulet through the night. The open sliding door on my left brings the distant hum of the city, the intimate drips of water falling in the dark from the anemone leaves on the terrace after a passing shower, and occasional, high, pure peeps. Very small birds passing through. Or perhaps waking up from a dream in the oaks across the road, and not knowing where they are. Resting before flying on.

In my very best recurring dreams I dream about birds, which come and sit on my hands - pretty, various, never seen in waking life, pure invention, and my great friends. And I think of the Korean man in the woods in Inwood, who calls a woodpecker to his outstretched hand, which alights there and eats little tidbits held out to him.

There is something so transitory and vulnerable, yet utterly ageless, about this migration of fragile feathered creatures above our heads, past this monstrously solid and teeming, electric city, that it tugs at me, as this season does, too, so that even as I sniff the new cooler air that I love and taste the fall grapes and the crackling apples and watch individual leaves fall to land as rare pools of yellow on the bluestone sidewalk, my heart in small moments feels as though it is breaking. Perhaps because I do too much, and talk too much, and fill up too much space, and don't sit still long enough, to listen.


  1. That last paragraph, amen :)

  2. That last paragraph, amen :)

  3. Oops, sorry that came twice - having a few issues deciphering the anti-robot test!

  4. Yes, such a bittersweet time, evoked so well by your words. I pushed through the porch into the garden yesterday and startled a huge flock of little black-headed birds who must have stopped for a snack and a drink on their way to warmer climes. I'll hunker down here...

  5. It's a universal frisson.Fleeting, but essential.

  6. So poignant. I write from time to time, but after reading this, I am tempted to give it all up. Every now and then words are combined and written down and take your breath away for a moment. This was one of those moments for me. Thank you for sharing yourself.

  7. That was beauiful Marie. This afternoon I saw a bird on the power lines next door. Not one usually seen around here. I guessed at what it was and confirmed via bird book. It was a peregrine falcon! Felt so magical! It flew off, very quietly but purposefully.

  8. Pure poetry and truth, and I love your dreams about birds.

  9. Thank you, everyone. One wonders sometimes, about writing on a blog about what lies under the skin...

    Thank you.


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