Tuesday, April 19, 2005

a spirited walk

A birthday walk today took me to the forest. No, no! Not my birthday! Karen’s birthday. Karen is perhaps my second oldest (by number of years we’ve known each other) friend in town. I should admit that she is also one of those rare people who can easily push me into laughter even if I am riding some wave of gloomish mournfulness. She is a lot younger than me – 367 days actually, and so I feel protective of her (she’s also a wee bit shorter, so I can hover and be a bear-like figure). When I am not laughing.

Now, all this is not unusual. Karen and I walk frequently. But today was extra special, what with her birthday and all. It called for a singularly special topic and we indeed found one: musing about our own funerals – who might show up, who would say what, who would have the greatest amount of remorse (forget about sadness – I am not into funeral sadness). Once you get going on something like this you can spin into all sorts of promising directions, like reviewing the aesthetic merits of the pope's casket, where to go for lunch after you've attended a downtown Chicago funeral, etc etc.

Such a spirited discussion! I'm wondering if she was as fully into it as I was though. Her mood may have been less funerally inclined. Hmmm...
walk in the woods: the birches are green! terribly skinny, but green nonetheless Posted by Hello
don't they look like upside down teeth? Posted by Hello

Moving along...

The day is proceeding.

Rather than wallowing in the millions of things going wrong at the moment, I am clicking through these.

You really have to, have to go ahead and kill some minutes doing this (go to the "animals" tag). It's the kind of activity that will make you smile even as you realize the absurdity of spending any time picking out a snail out of the London Underground map (thanks, FistfulofEuros).

[The fish and the wallaby are perhaps the most clever, though at the moment, I'm partial to the pig.]

Some people wake up, drink their coffee and leap into the day with wild enthusiasm

This has not been my trend lately. In fact, I have to admit that yesterday, leaping anywhere was the farthest thing from my mind and I did not get around to drinking my morning latte (nor to posting, for that matter) until almost noon.

Anyone who knows me can recognize signs of great distress when that happens. My morning latte is a ritual that has such great significance that I am sure if the Titanic were sinking all over again and I were on it, I would pause to fix myself a latte (or at least a café au lait) before disembarking, if indeed it were a morning sinking.

One of the most bothersome aspects of flying overnight to Europe is that the flight does not recognize a latte craving. Air France, always my carrier of choice, does provide good coffee, but with it comes a little container of something called “milk-like” and so as I look out at the vast territory of Brittany below me (breakfast is served as we reach the tip of Brittany) I polish up my rehearsed little speech and with the widest possible smile I look up at the monsieur (it’s more often than not a man these days) and say: please please go back into the galley and search for a small container of the real thing! – all in practiced French to demonstrate the earnestness of my request. The nice monsieur comes back with real milk. On the other hand, the monsieur who has had no mademoiselle lately to sooth his ego, will look at me with scorn and throw a couple more of those “milk-like” containers my way with a “nous n’avons pas du lait” (we do not have milk) which is a plain lie because I know that in business they’ll offer you all the lait you want plus a cow to go with it if you’re in need of one.

Today I will try to charm destiny by posting and sipping a latte. Pots of gold don’t fall in your lap unless you position your lap in such a way as to make it an easy target for flying receptacles holding the loot. Will it work? I doubt it, but Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart [and mind and soul and whatever else has been aching] does go on if the day starts well. With a latte, for instance.