Saturday, June 21, 2014


Don't tell me the moon is shining;
show me the glint of light on broken glass.
        - Anton Chekov
Friday the 13th, Lune de Miel - "Honey Moon" - Charras, Fr 

The Hare Jumped Over the Moon - Jodie Tucker

Stories was everything and everything was stories;
I was searching for the "gold tooth in God's crooked smile -
from "Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus" - BBC documentary about the American South

I warmed my bones in California where it was already July in May - gelato and firecrackers, open-toed shoes, air conditioning & sunscreen.  When I left France it was raining & when I returned it was raining.  It's been raining since November.  My eyes burned on the way to Sonoma from SF airport; Hwy 101 has lots of potholes. Still shiny, but California's promised land feels depleted, like a canvas stretched and painted over too many times.  They did indeed "pave paradise and put up a parking lot."

 CARS & COFFEE - Everywhere
"Should I kill myself or have a cup of coffee?" - Albert Camus

I'm not used to so many cars - two lanes of traffic to my left, two lanes to my right; I felt like a pinball ricocheting across the asphalt.  And you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a caffeine purveyor within a two meter radius. The mugs are huge; you could fit 20 teeny weeny French espressos into one Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappaccino Blended Beverage (doesn't mean I didn't do my best to consume as many as I could.) And since everything else is gluten free and organic, it all works out!

Coffee Poster

Arriving at my Empress friend Dawn's oasis in Sonoma, she feeds me guacamole and bean chips. Since I'd spent the previous night half-asleep on Charles De Gaulle's airport floor, I was ravenous. (There had been a mix-up with hotel reservation).  I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good.

I climbed into the big clawfoot bathtub & soaked away the travel cooties.  On the guest room night stand was Stewart Warren's book of poetry:  "Here There Is Also Burning" - poems of place and poems of ardor.  In one of my blogs I wrote about Warren's book, "Pointing to My Heart:  Poetry Journey through the Visconti Sforza Tarot," so I am thrilled at this synchronicity, finding a kindred spirit here.

It is the hour of the Wolf, between night & dawn, ghosts and demons.  I am fried, but I scribble some notes which I won't be able to decipher later on, except for this passage which remained semi-legible from his poem Jemez, "...some happiness has descended or risen - anyway location is not what we thought.  My hand rises without prompting as I'm reminded to wave at travelers, these holy shapes and forms, this grand migration of ours."  With apologies to Warren if I have slaughtered his finely crafted words. Tarot threads in and out of his writing. There is a poem titled "The Hermit" & another poem, "In the Cards," references the Page of Wands -  buy his book & you won't be sorry. 

Next day in the early morning mist we take Maddie, Dawn's Jack Russell terrier, for a walk in the vineyards across the road to see the crooked armed grapevines pocketed on the sides of the rolling, golden hills of California. Hard squint & it could be France.

Caneros Vineyard - Sonoma

I've brought French Macarons with me all the the way from Paris *** Laduree's.  Not long ago there was a Macaron "smackdown" between Ladurees' and Pierre Hermes' pastry shops, both on Rue Bonaparte in Paris.  Who cares who won?  They are both fantastic.  But here's the kicker:  later in the week I went shopping at Costco in Novato and they had the same Macarons for a third of the price.  America = the land of plenty good eats. The variety & quality of the food made me dizzy as I walked thru the shops, bedazzled by exotic & home cooked take-a-ways; if I moved back I'd never cook again.  We eat a lot of leeks in France. 

Origin, late 18th century (in the sense 'acute homesickness'): modern Latin (translating German Heimweh 'homesickness'), from Greek nostos 'return home' + algos 'pain'.

There is a comfort in the familiar; I don't need a GPS to find my way around & the ease of acquisition is in marked contrast to days spent navigating French hardware stores or auto repair places trying to find a windshield wiper.  Yet, I now feel like a foreigner, astonished that neighbors aren't giving each other Vervaine and parsnips or freshly laid eggs.  And where is the laundry drying in the sun?  There are leaf blowers instead of aproned women sweeping the sidewalks.  I am  "homesick" for two homes, two countries, straddling two very different worlds.

I do as many readings as I can for friends & family who are "tangled up in blue" 

"Blue is glory and power, a wave, a particle, a vibration, a resonance, a spirit, a passion, a memory, a vanity, a metaphor, a dream. Blue is a simile.  Blue, she is like a woman." from Sacré Bleu, Christopher Moore.  

I see everyone I can, spend precious time with a friend who is dying; the time slips through my fingers.  I squeeze in a week at Harbin Hot Springs in northern CA, soaking and divining.  No cameras, no electronic devices, no internet. 

                                                                The Hot Pool - Harbin Hot Springs, Middletown, CA.

                                                                      Yoga & Meditation at the Temple

                                                    Grand Tableau Reading for Dawn, Lenormand Revolution Deck

At the 11th hour,  I go through the last of the storage items my poor friend has been schlepping around for a few years -  the Memory Palace in crates, full of photographs, poems, short stories, Art Deco hats, crystals etc. A mixture of pain and joy, a recognition of that other self who lived a very different life.

I found a poem my brother wrote me for my birthday in 1998:

Before, when work was the
Book of Numbers, all the
world was windows.

Windows are the promise,
sly tempters who are 
sometimes mirrors.  They
reveal possibility, and hope.

Now is the Day of Doors.

There are no certainties
on the other side.  No 
visions.  No revealed
Day.  But the door, once
opened, surrenders the

And you are a window.
And you are a door.
The future opens in you
like Hinges of Light. 

Mark Kreighbaum

                                                                  Sunrise on the Solstice, Charras, France

                                                                                       Chateau at Sunset

'Cause you're a sky full of stars
I'm going to give you my heart

'Cause you're a sky full of stars
I wanna die in your arms

You're a sky, you're a sky full of stars
Such a heavenly view
You're such a heavenly view


             - Albert Camus 

  And if you are in the area, please join us for the Vernissage/gallery opening for our
new exhibit at Chateau Sainte Catherine outside of Marthon. 

Next time: Athena & The Trees, another anniversaire, "Three Things",  Adieu to Annie & Gesture to the Infinite.  What can't be said shall be Wept.

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