Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Monday, April 28, 2008

"With ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly..." ~ Jane Eyre

A few hours ago my nephew, who will turn three in September, was at the door when it was raining; I scooped him up and had him under my umbrella and twirled him around as I sang "Singin' in the Rain" off tune. He still laughed and smiled as I managed not to hit each note, happy to be swinging (and singing) in the rain.

Upon entering the kitchen where my two sisters were, he asked for the umbrella. I said it was wet, but his mom grabbed his plastic Elmo umbrella from the closet so he could play with one. I then started singing again, quietly, but this time catching the ears of my sisters.

The film with Gene Kelly is one that is embedded in the memories of our childhood that sing the notes of happiness we had during that time. It was a film passed on to us by our parents, and they loved it because their parents shared it with them. If we had a soundtrack of our sisterhood, there would be songs from Singing in the Rain.

Missy said that she had the DVD, and Robin said to take it out to show him the scene. It was still wrapped in plastic; she must have had it on the shelf for years without watching it. Still, my sisters and I once had that movie memorized, so there is no real time lost.

The track of the famous scene was 40. Jack stood watching seriously with his Elmo umbrella in hand. Melissa placed a hat on his head, and within a few moments of the scene starting, my nephew proceeded to imitate Gene Kelly in the scene, tapping with the umbrella, twirling it around, hoisting it on his shoulder, and jumping up and down as Kelly splashes in the puddles. He even managed to utter an "Uh Oh" when the policemen enters the end of the scene. It was one of the most adorable moments a child has ever had. Its on video...I have proof...and I will download it to share in the future.

But for now it remains a very private moment. You see, I saw the tears in the corners of my sisters' eyes, and I felt them in my own. There is so much that we want to give to the next generation that has been given to us, including song. For my nephew to share a scene and a song that linked our bond as sisters and daughters and granddaughters to our family was a special moment this evening. These are songs that represent the innocence of childhood, whether it is flying a kite, singing in the rain, or going somewhere over the rainbow. Each time he hears them for the first time, it is like we hear it again for the first time all over again, and its magic.

My brother-in-law had never seen the part of the film since he did not grow up here in America. So seeing him watch it for the first time with Jack was also special; we spent about 45 minute watching this scene and "Good Morning" as Jack danced, and believe me, it was a glorious feeling. (He saw "Make 'Em Laugh" but thought Donald O'Conner was really getting hurt, so we had to cease playing that scene)

Please enjoy a trip down memory lane...though Jack IS fierce competition for Mr. Kelly, folks, as you shall one day see. Hope you are singing if its raining...


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"Where they make wine..." ~ Jane Eyre

Mute Monday: Intoxicating

Clooney, Dempsey, Depp, Flynn, Bogart, Connery, Dino, Sinatra.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Sweet paintings of butterflies..." ~ Jane Eyre

It has been two and a half months, and the butterflies will not cease to exist inside of me. Their wings flap inside of my stomach as crisply as a white linen sheet drying outside on a windy spring day, refusing to cease for even a moment for some tranquility. When the phone indicates his number, they begin to move inside of me, as if they were walking up a stem, slowly approaching a flower that is steadily in bloom. When a time is set to meet him, they leave the pillar all together and fly in the space that is my stomach, speedily pounding their wings in sync to the rhythm of my heartbeat. Before the hour of which we are set to meet, I try to distract myself from their continual soaring in my soul. Nothing really helps cease their presence, so eventually my encompassing the butterflies becomes the butterflies encompassing me. As time passes, I become more and more skeptical that they shall ever leave. Then again, I love their beauty, as well as the beauty they represent, and realize that perhaps I do not wish for them to leave...

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"But not a matter one can comprehend..." ~ Jane Eyre

I am not at all fully coherent at three in the morning, though I suspect that was the hour that Pablo Neruda was his most eloquent. Trying to explain perceptions of poetry at that time a few weeks ago at that hour failed me; its always easier for me to pen my thoughts than to verbalize them.

Neruda is a poet I thought I knew. I have been reading his poems for the past fifteen years after seeing the film Il Postino. I have taught his poems, mainly his odes, to students. I even did a project in an MA poetry class on his works.

Within the past month, I realize that I never really knew him at all. Or at least I didnt really understand him. There are two collections of his that have been at my bedside of late: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair and Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. I am rereading poems I thought I knew, finding out that until this moment I never truly related to what Neruda expresses in his poems about passion in the depths of your soul, physical pleasure, and extreme vulnerability when it comes to love. All that I believed I understood I realize I did not comprehend. I feel like I am reading Neruda for the first time, the previous times perhaps being superficial relating to many of his stanzas. It is humbling on so many levels, and that is the beauty I find in reading his poems lately. I wish I spoke and read Spanish fluently, for I fear that sometimes his words get lost in translation, but I also trust the editors of these collections, because the words in English are...well...perfection.

My reading of Neruda has become so personal and private lately that I am not wanting to share the one that my soul relates to the most these days, and I probably never will here. Rather, I will share one, in both languages, that is first in his collection of love poems, always a favorite of mine, and certainly one I could see him writing in the early hours of the morning.

Body of a Woman
Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
You look like a world lying in surrender.
My rough peasant's body digs in you
And makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
Like an arrow in my bow, like a stone in my sling.

But the hour of the vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of avid and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of your breasts! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your slow and sad voice!

Body of my woman I will persist in your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!
Dark river beds where the eternal thirst flows,
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

Cuerpo de Mujer
Cuerpo de mujer, blancas colinas, muslos blancos,
te pareces al mundo en tu actitud de entrega.
Mi cuerpo de labriego salvaje te socava
y hace saltar el hijo del fondo de la tierra.
Fui solo como un túnel.
De mí huían los pájaros y en mí la noche entraba su invasión poderosa.
Para sobrevivirme te forjé como un arma,
como una flecha en mi arco, como una piedra en mi honda.
Pero cae la hora de la venganza,
y te amo.
Cuerpo de piel, de musgo, de leche ávida y firme.
Ah los vasos del pecho! Ah los ojos de ausencia!
Ah las rosas del pubis! Ah tu voz lenta y triste!
Cuerpo de mujer mía, persistiré en tu gracia.
Mi sed, mi ansia sin límite, mi camino indeciso!
Oscuros cauces donde la sed eterna sigue,
y la fatiga sigue, y el dolor infinito.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

"The sounds I had heard after the scream..." ~ Jane Eyre

With all due respect, there can be nothing mute about poetry. I have a deep sense of the figurative, but I chose to take this week literally.

Stanzas aside, the power of poetry gives those who are not poets a voice - a voice that comes deep from the soul and is incapable of being silent. To place poetry in a two dimensional form seems irreverent, and I find myself unable to do so. Poetry is a religion to me, and always shall be. Silence of it is sacrilege.

For I believe there is nothing as loud to an ear as poetry and nothing as verbose to a soul as a poem. Poetry is food, dear readers, so open up your mouth wide. This entire week here on this blog will be shouting out the glory of poems, because I cannot find it in my soul to make it mute.

Eating Poetry
by Mark Strand
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.I have been eating poetry.
The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.
The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.
Their eyeballs roll,their blond legs bum like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.
She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand, she screams.
I am a new man.I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

"And again he stood up and tried his foot..." ~ Jane Eyre

It was a quintessential girl's day out in New York City today. My twin and I ventured into Soho for some good eats and pampering; something our busy lives were in need of. We were also in need of some quality sister time and some heart to heart chatting.

The sun was bright and warm as we stepped out of the N/R subway line at Prince street. My favorite New York neighborhood was already bustling with brunchers and shoppers. We walked around before reaching Dos Caminos, a great Mexican restaurant whose sister branch we celebrated our 30th birthday at. Outdoor seating was abundant and enclosed by a wrought iron fence, with diners either drinking sangria, mojitos, or frozen margaritas. All of us ladies ate with sunglasses on, making it all the more easier to gawk at each other in true NYC femme fashion.

Our table was soon filled with guacamole, chips, frozen margaritas, lobster ceviche, and mini grilled chicken tacos. The conversation was filled about both the beauty and the apprehension of new relationships, since both of us are immersed in the newness of two great men. In true sisterhood, both sensitivity and tough loved went back and forth between us two. In the spirit of the day, we both realized that relaxing was the answer, for what is meant to be is meant to be.

And on that note we finished our blissful meal and headed to Bliss Spa Soho, a gift from our dear cousin for our 30th birthday. I love the smell of spas, and Bliss certainly had that mixed smell of peppermint and vanilla that most spas possess as their aroma. Bliss is bright and blue; my sister opted for a facial while I opted for a pedicure. We parted ways since our treatment rooms were on different levels, and the bliss began.

I didn't choose just any pedicure, dear readers. Oh no...

I chose the Double Chocolate Pedicure.

I arrived in the nail salon; the walls were papered with images of a beach. In front of me was a table with iced water and teas and small cookies and pieces of fruit. The racks for the nail polish containers were mounted from the ceiling, and I immediately chose a bright pink for the toes...sexy for spring. My technician was so sweet, and I walked up two steps to sit in the chair and didn't get up for almost an hour and a half after that.

The technician left for a little while and came back with a large, aluminum bowl filled with hot milk and chocolate pieces. I placed my feet in, and from that moment on I was in some other world for the next hour and a half. She was slow and meticulous, and I wished her scrub and massage lasted all day. Little did I realize that the title of the pedicure was literal; I had chocolate at my feet, and within twenty minutes of sitting down, I had chocolate at my mouth. A bowl of chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream and cinnamon was presented to me. Imagine: sitting in a chair with your feet soaking in chocolate as you eat chocolate; I shall never be skeptical of the spa's name...never ever.

So as stressful and busy as life has been lately, I know I am so fortunate to have a day like this with my sister, in the best city in the world, doing something good for ourselves. I hope you do something nice for yourself this weekend...

Treat yourself to some Bliss, too!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"And teaches French..." ~ Jane Eyre

Merci beaucoup to all for their good wishes; I am feeling much better since the weekend and did some cooking. For today's post, please visit Epicurean Escapades!


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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"By a sheet of ice..." Jane Eyre

At the moment I am feverish and eating small bites of mint chocolate ice cream. I haven't eaten much for the past two days except for some rice and pretzels, but this evening I had the sudden craving for ice cream and just ran to Baskin Robbins for a single scoop; it may not get my fever down, but it certainly is refreshing. Its not chocolate chip, either. It has chocolate crunchies laced through the mint ice cream; even better, I say.

Lately, my associations with ice cream relate to Jack. He only eats vanilla, and he gets rather excited and shouts out "ice cream" anytime its offered or he knows its coming in a restaurant. I admit that I love indulging him with it. His Aunt Maimy loves nothing more than to take a scoop of Haagen Dazs and plop it into his Le Petite Prince bowl and then proceed to spoon feed him as he watches Curious George before bedtime. Le Petite Prince, indeed.

As you know, when I was a young girl visiting my grandparents' home, my grandmother Anoush never let us leave without eating something. Many times this something was an ice cream come. She always kept cones in the pantry and I remember my favorite flavor being a Dolly Madison orange and vanilla creme that she stacked oh so well. She made sure that she pressed the ice cream into the bottom of the cone. Her freezer always had ice cream in it, and during summers after shish kebab dinner, my sisters and I always enjoyed big bowls of rainbow sherbert that she served in lime green plastic bows as we sat outside on the stoop.

My mother always teased me because I always managed to get chocolate ice cream on my t-shirts in the summertime when I was a child. She said it was a continual pattern. I loved when my chocolate ice cream got almost soupy in the bowl and I would work hard to get it all on the spoon; it never ever quite stayed on the spoon, but my mother was always very understanding. She has to be; my chocoholism is inherited from her.

The first song I ever heard performed by Sarah McLachlan was "Ice Cream." I remember by friend Tea playing it for me and felt an instant allure to her voice and to the lyrics. Though at the time I was a teenager and scoffed them; how could anything be better than my beloved cookie dough? Well, as I have gotten older my views have changed and tonight I especially empathize with her lyrics. I am so feverish and miserable tonight and wish I could give up this ice cream and have him here instead. He is better that ice cream..he is so much better.

View: Ice Cream - Sarah McLachlan

(*Please tell me your favorite ice cream flavor when you comment...*)

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"I fancy a likeness..." ~ Jane Eyre

Thank you to Frumteacher for this picture meme! I am tagging all bloggers!

1. What is your current relationship status?

2. What is your current mood?
3. Who is your favorite band/singer?

4. What is your favorite movie?

5. What kind of pets do you have?

6. Where do you live?

7. Where do you work?

8. What do you look like?

9. What do you drive?

10. What did you do last night?

11. What is your favorite tv show?

12. Describe yourself.

13. What are you doing tomorrow?

14. What is your name?

15. What is your favorite candy?