Sunday, May 14, 2006

November In My Soul

November in My Soul

"Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul," said Ishmael in Moby-Dick, "then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball." I know what he means. There is a restless nature to melancholy and as much as I love the rain, in the Northeast we should probably start looking into cubits and ark-building. I don't remember the last day the sun was out. And this is a driving rain that leaves everything raw but very green. A State of Emergency was declared today and many schools have closed for tomorrow.

My children just need for us to clear out the living room and put in a wrestling ring. They are like caged animals! Two boys with energy to burn and two cranky parents and one teenage girl does not necessarily add up to a good combination over time. But despite the rain, it was a great Mother's day: breakfast-in-bed and an early dinner, all prepared by my husband and children. And I puttered all day which is a soothing balm for me--laundry and putter, laundry and putter. None of us got out of our pajamas.

Tomorrow I am giving a talk on the 'interior' life of Emily Dickinson at a nearby library. My friend Rosemary (a one-time professional baker and whose pantries will be in my book) is organizing it and has prepared lots of tea fare, including Emily's 'black cake' and gingerbread. Everyone is supposed to read their favorite Emily poem. Today this weather made me think about her largely indoor existence. She would have loved the rain, I expect. And tomorrow afternoon will be a fitting time to discuss her poetry 120 years after her death while we sip tea and warm ourselves with good companionship. There could be five people. There could be fifty.

I will likely post my talk on this blog in a few days, if anyone is interested.

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