Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Comes before the great ones of society..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Mondays: GREATNESS

Homer, Sharon Olds, William Shakespeare, Denise Levertov, Pablo Neruda, Walt Whitman, Sappho, Geoffrey Chaucer

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Monday, March 24, 2008

"The noises I hear round me are bubbling..." ~ Jane Eyre

It has been the most mauvaise of Mondays.

Compounding finishing a regimen of antibiotics last night and battling exhaustion each day, the day itself was exceptionally ridiculous in how many aspects went wrong since walking through my office door at eight thirty this morning. It was such a wonderful feeling to walk through my door this evening, slam the door to the outside world, change into pajamas by seven o'clock, eat some leftover lamb from Easter, and turn on some vintage Madonna. Speaking to J.Sarah tonight was the best part of my day, and being reassured by my kindred spirit that the half life of the meds was quick, I realized that a celebration was in order after I finished discussing her trip to Germany she just arrived home from.

At first I thought wine - I have tons of Beaujolais. A nice glass of red with the New Yorker; perfect ending to a bad day. However, today was no ordinary bad day - it was filled with instances that made me think back to the Alexander of my youth, though I wish I was in France and not Australia.

So, what is a fille to do if she cant go to France?

Drink champagne.

I had a half bottle of Moet White Star and popped that cork, knowing it was a good remedy for a bad day. After all, people do have bad days in France, such as the bar maid in the Manet painting. She looks tres fatigue.

Having bubbles fizz up my nose as I sipped made the day all better. It was cold and refreshing, dry and crisp. Sometimes it is not enough to reward yourself with the usual and familiar. Sometimes you have to remember how much you love yourself and want yourself cheered up.

Sometimes you just have to drink champagne.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Providence has blessed my endeavours..." ~ Jane Eyre

Last night we gathered at my sister's for fish dinner - tilapia seasoned with Old Bay and fresh lemon and shrimp with linguine with diced tomatoes and fresh basil. Prior to dinner, Robin and I colored eggs with Jack. My parents arrived as we were coloring the eggs. Normally, Jack greets people with a big smile and little dance, his aunties included, but my parents are the exception. He runs into their arms for big hugs. I took this photo just as he ran into my father for a hug yesterday evening.

I think it shall become one of my favorite photos of my father and of Jack. In this quick moment I was able to capture the intensity of love on my father's face for his grandson, and able to capture my nephew's absolute adoration of his "Pah." It is still hard for me to look at it without getting teary.

I do not take the moments I have with my family for granted. I am blessed. Truly, I am. We are having such a wonderful holiday celebration together; I know I am fortunate to have these moments, and I capture as many as I can in my heart, for I know we all get older, things change. Thankfully, my family, and their spirit, is always a constant.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

"As well as her nature would permit her..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Monday: Mother Nature
O'Keefe, Dali, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh


Sunday, March 16, 2008

"I thought only of the bliss..." ~ Jane Eyre

My hair is sopping wet because my body is too tired to even hold my hairdryer. Instead, my wet curls create streaks of dark grey against the light grey material of his baseball t-shirt which I keep grabbing the collar of and placing it to my nose because it smells like him. Sleeping in this shirt will make sleeping alone tonight easier. I sip some DuBoeuf Beaujolais and think back to sitting on the couch together with wine in hand, laughing at a cork that ended up in the bottle. I think about how so many things in life seem impossible, like ships in bottles, and try to remember that even that is possible. It is possible to experience bliss for days at a time, even in ways that may seem subtle and prosaic. Perhaps in the end those moments are when bliss can truly happen. Like pulling over on a road to look at the ocean in a small corner of a shoreline and taking photos of each other. Like running your fingers through his thick, dark hair as he sleeps, inhaling deeply as you listen to him breathe. Like eating leftover sag paneer and roti for breakfast together. Like standing out on a deck having an animated discussion about politics and NPR's responsibility to listeners as you wrongfully hold a menthol between your fingers and exhale at the sheer awe of his ideas. Like listening to Sinatra sing "My Funny Valentine" as you drive towards Atlantic City. Moments more private, moments in public, moments in a car stuck in traffic. Mostly moments of laughter. Moments you would like to bottle up and taste over and over again. In a recent moment, I was told that I am a hopeless romantic. I don't think that is true. Perhaps a hopeful romantic, but I do not see romance through rose colored glasses. I can see it clearly, realistically. Pragmatically enough to know that such blissful moments with a special man are not common, but unique and to be savored. And, above all else, to be discernibly thankful for.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

"I trust I shall not eat long at your expense, sir." ~ Jane Eyre

For the past few weeks, breakfast at my desk has gone something like this: my oatmeal sits half eaten and bits of strawberries begin to congeal into the oats as I stare into the plastic bowl and think about how hungry I am but am not really that hungry. I hold my spoon in vain for another minute as I stare into the oat-laden abyss until I get completely fed up and toss both the bowl and my spoon into the trash can. I sip some more of my French vanilla flavored coffee, but can’t really finish that either since I feel my feet fidget underneath my desk an know that drinking more of my beloved java will exacerbate their movement even more so. Lunch is no better. I go out with the girls from work and waste money on half eaten slices of salad pizza, half eaten six inch sandwiches from Subway that have my favorite sweet onion dressing in them, and half eaten spicy tuna rolls whose wasabi never gets to spice up my mouth completely and whose wooden chopsticks never get fully stained with soy sauce at the tips. This week I have had dinner plans each night – unable to finish sweet potato fries, Armenian manti, and small mounds of guacamole on my plate with chunky bits of luscious avocado. The only food I am managing to eat in entirety is anything consisting of chocolate, but its more like I finish two thirds rather than just a half.

It is eleven years to the semester that I sat freshman year in a Chaucer class, which was a class at ten o’clock in the morning I leisurely walked to after a delicious breakfast in the Student Union at Hofstra University. I was the only freshman student in the class, for I had placed out of freshman English and was already taking electives as an English major. To this day, one of my most prized texts is the resource guide to Chaucer, which includes poems and medieval testimonies to the life and times of Chaucer’s period of life. The text would not be valid if it did not include the Art of Courtly Love, for that is what Chaucer referenced often for his stories. There is a litany of facts and rules pertaining to being in love in this particular set of codes, most of which I thoroughly disagree with except for a few. Making the top ten of the medieval manifest that seems to pertain to my problem is is: Eating and sleeping diminish greatly when one is aggravated by love.

Aggravated is certainly the operative word here.

Of course I am not aggravated by the reason I cannot eat lately; that is a reason I am extremely and utterly grateful for. I am just aggravated that my stomach decided to get involved in matters of the heart and create less green matter in my wallet each time I go out to eat or go to the supermarket without enjoying the bounties of my purchases.

Still, manifest or no manifest, I still felt like an utter anomaly at lunch with my friend J-Lo yesterday afternoon. I was pushing pasta primavera around my plate and pouting.

Finally, I asked, “Were you able to eat when you first met J?”

My friend responded with a big laugh, eyed me knowing what was really going on, and said, “Ask J what I ate on our first date when we met at the diner.”

The diner? Burgers, fries, shakes, ice cream. I felt more and more outré.

“You cant do that! You have to tell me now!”

“Half a diet coke. He had a burger and fries, and I had half a diet coke.”

And with those words about a half drunken carbonated beverage, I felt a little more at ease and was able to finish my pasta.

Being able to sleep last night, on the other hand, is another tale...

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Though it was now dark, I knew he was awake..." ~ Jane Eyre

I have read the poem by Pushkin. I have seen Tchaikovsky's opera performed at the MET. I have watched the film adaptation. The rest of the story aside, what strikes me the most about Eugene Onegin is that singular scene when Tatyana is unable to sleep at night. Ignoring the surrounding situation, looking closely at that moment is the essence of passion and soul. Tonight on PBS, highlights of greatest performances at the Metropolitan Opera House are being shown; I have been fortunate to have the experience of seeing opera there, and seeing my favorite operatic heroine sing what is known as the letter aria.

She is in love, and she cannot ease her mind until she writes him a letter. (I write to you - what else is there? What else, what more may I attempt) She professes her love to him, line by line, unable to sleep because her body stirs at the mere thought of him. The letter is far from brief; rather, it is almost an epic poem of how deep her soul has been struck by his essence. It is a stunning moment in opera and the quintessential aria.

As always, art imitates life. Of late my hands do not type, and my balance of writing here is thrown off. Instead, my fingers hold a pen and write words, such as Tatyana's, that lie firmly pressed between sheets of paper and shall remain pressed there. In the meantime, I press myself into the pillow he slept on last night and inhale, breathing in inspiration to write, even if the words are never to be read by anyone but myself.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMv07i_PrCg (Mirella Freni as Tatyana...)