Sunday, November 30, 2014

Everything That Makes Us Love

There was something so wonderful about this past week, mostly because of friends and how life moves along and all of these beautiful moments. 

Z and I met up the other night at Umami with our friends Chris and Phil and, later, Amanda, and we just ate delicious food, like truffle fries and too tall of burgers, and sat at that round table on the patio laughing and talking and it was so good, just really good to be with these wonderful new friends in this little life here, so far along, link connecting to link, bringing me, bringing me along. 

Then I was nostalgic because that particular Umami used to be a Cobras and Matadors that sprouted up after the first one got so popular and then it got too popular and then it all imploded and now there are no more Cobras and Matadors. But I walked through that restaurant looking around, remembering how many days I’ve lived and how much love there is. 

I made a toast that night, to friends, and also to the fact that Cat Stevens has a new album out. Because I’m so happy about both of those things, especially about the Cat Stevens album. Because he’s my favorite pretty much and reminds me of growing up and experience and loss and bravery and everything about having to go on this long big journey all by yourself and more beautiful things even than that, like the light in the windows and the wind and staying up all night in Chamonix singing along to the Best Of Cat Stevens tape because it was the only tape in that wooden house in the Alps that one summer so long ago with my family.

And then it was Thanksgiving and I went hiking early in the morning and I passed one of the old Polish guys that I’ve always seen walking up the trail with his six friends every morning.  All of these years hiking up there, the Polish group in the mornings. Just yack yack yacking away. And then the two Polish women would always break off and play tennis together on the rickety, broken court in the hills. So happy and active running around on that court with the tree branches poking through the concrete. I love that group of people. And I used to always try and say good morning to them, a long time ago, and they were so wrapped up in each other, they never said hi back, so I finally stopped trying to say hi to them, but they became a real part of the scenery for me.

I hadn’t been up there in a while and then, on Thanksgiving morning, I was walking down the path and just saw that one Polish guy sitting by himself on a bench down near the end of the trail. And I thought about friends and Umami dinners and the old Cobras and Matadors and Cat Stevens and everything that makes us love.  Maybe the rest of the Polish group had just gone home already. Maybe. But, I just thought, in any case, one day, there will just be one Polish guy sitting on a bench. And all of that love trailing behind him. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quiet Slow World

Sometimes, here in this big city, I’ll stop and think about home in Aspen. About growing up and the mountains. About the windows and the moonlight on the ground.  When I would just sit by the fire circling things I liked in catalogues, like gourmet gift baskets, apple baskets with chocolate covered popcorn, from Harry & David. Or maybe sweaters from Eddie Bauer that I didn’t really want but were the best thing in the catalogue so I circled them anyway, while the quiet snow fell outside.  

Now it’s so fast all the time. And loud. Traffic and subway stations where there’s a guy behind my shoulder asking me to help him because he just got out of jail, while I’m the only human being in the whole subway station just trying to buy my fare at the machine and that’s just not the right way to ask me to help you, by saying you just got out of jail and hovering over my shoulder too close. And then I take the slightly wrong train in my panic so I have to get off and wait for the next one and I’m mostly alone again at a stop I don’t know and somewhat worried but keeping myself together because you sort of have to all the time and it’s just the subway even though no one seems to ride it here at night except me and the two people waiting with me.  

I just miss it sometimes. I miss the quiet snow and the fireplace and not having the world beating down on you and your job grading your performance and too many horns honking for no understandable reason and politics and waking up to go make money and being grown up and everything you have to think about. 

Except that it was pretty funny the other morning when the toilet wouldn’t stop flushing and I tried to fix it and it started spraying on me out of the pipes and I woke up Z, not because he would know how to fix it or anything but just to join me in the hullaballoo because it was funny and maybe he would know how to fix it anyway. He didn’t. He just got sprayed too.

I know there’s a lot of beauty in this. And humor. And I do love it, this whole thing. But still, I miss the quiet slow world sometimes. Curled up with catalogues, circling things.