Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Days

Enough of my emotional binges, here is a sense of what we do with our days--La Professoressa works much of the time at her university job and her article writing, except when her other skills are needed such as helping to hang the art work of our dear friend Dovey, an American expat like me except she hails from the Louisiana delta low lands. Dovey and her Australian partner, Libby, journey to country outside Alice Springs almost every year, where Dovey makes pastel sketches of the rocky ranges and dry river beds. Once home, on the weekends she turns these ideas about color and shape into oil paintings and we were so happy to welcome three of her works into our home.

                                                                   Getting It Just Right

Within these paintings is the story of how one woman made her way to  the beauty, very different from her Cajun country, of another landscape, how she looked and looked and found the purple in the red, the water in the rocks.

Last week we were lucky enough to stay in a friend's house by the sea, down on the Mornington Peninsula, for a few wintry days. In the mornings when the sun shone for a few moments before the gray full skies closed in, we took Cello for his morning walk to the beach, pausing to look at the russet-colored young bulls that grazed in the paddock close by. A short moment of quiet joy of sight.

A special time for us, unmarried lesbians, when we have these days with our books and projects, talk of what has transpired in the 12 years we have been together. In the evenings, La Professoressa  put aside her books and sewed up four pillow cases and the beginnings of a flannel night gown for me--my woman poppa of so many talents.
We talked much about the 14 year difference in our ages, about the difference in what our bodies can do and how to hold the journey together. Most of the time, I am several steps behind her, but I keep her joy of life in my full vision.

Her arms open to me, waiting or going forward, her love is the bridge between what is hard and what is shining with life.

My work takes place at home: reading Judith Butler's "Frames of War," where I take in her phrasings of the way war begins, with the national framing of some lives as being not worthy of grieving and thus allowable not seeable victims, men, women and children who fall out of the frame of life--so often the reality of people who live under occupations; where I read "Defying Gravity: A Political Life," by Dennis Altman (1997), learning of how this Australian gay early liberationist and now noted political scientist read the eary years of New York's gay movement when he was visiting there in the 70s--again another shift of geographies, as if we take turns standing on each other's hill tops. Reading new manuscripts by lesbian authors Jeanne Cordova, Sally Bellerose and Samar Habib. Watch out for their novels. I work on writing up my keynote Brighton talk that I gave in February, hopefully for publication of the papers of that conference, though without the images so much will be missing. I intend to put both the text and as many of the images as I can safely do on my journal here for your pleasure I hope. Then I will work on my Italian which rests only in my hands now since I do not feel well enough to make the trip to class but this language is a dear gentle friend--and now I have my little Pinochio that Beth and Pat brought for me from their time in Sienna and my watercolors and always my beloved sports. I have been exhausted watching the Tour D'France, the British Open, the Women's FIFA World CUP, congratulations Japan!! Because of the time difference, I am in my bed looking, looking at the little screen on the book shelf, climbing mountains, knees pumping at 1 in the morning, walking the rain wind swept links of the Open, or running up and down the futball field, the small against the giants, but no phony tumbles and generous pats on the back of the opponents. A very different life from my days in New York, no Zabar's, no Broadway diner tuna sandwich lunches with my friend Leni and more and more.

New streets with new comrades, new friends who are old ones now--my Women in Black comrades at this months vigil--Alex, Hellen, Marg, Geraldine, Esme.

To all of you who read this, my old friends and my new and some who do not feel kindly to me at all, I am sure, I send my thoughts from this moment of life in a place I had never imagined would be my home but I am grateful for all the colors and terrains it has given me under the fine full sun of my love.


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