Wednesday, June 29, 2005

and read all over

"colour television! bah, i won't believe it until i see it in black and white."
- samuel goldwyn (american movie producer and founder of MGM, 1882-1974)

black-and-white feels, sometimes, like a welcome shadow when the sun is hot and high, like a haiku's sweet purity following a volume of fine but flowery prose, like an oasis of subtle simplicity in a world of exuberant summer hues.
black-and-white seems, often - and these actually are - technicolour after all.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

left dangling

donald's roof garden is a spectacular five square metres of lushness: he has, as we say here - and logically, i always think, since thumbs aren't a whole lot of use on their own - "green fingers".
during the relentless heat of last weekend, my house-sitting/cat-sitting tasks expanded to include plant-sitting, which meant hauling jerrycans of water up three flights of stairs and then - carefully - up the glorified ladder which accesses the lofty terrace, and i did that successfully time and time again.
on the very last evening of my holiday, though, i preceded my husband - come to
dinner - upward, and, as i pushed the hatch open, balanced on a halfway rung, the
whole ladder lost its grip, and disappeared from under my feet, sliding backward and falling forward until my husband, caught by surprise, stopped it.
now, three days later, my right thigh is still swollen, and more black than blue, and i can't sit for more than a few minutes at a time. (responding to comments and e-mails, for instance, is very slow going: my apologies.)
and now, three days later, i continue to thank my lucky stars that someone was
with me on this trek to the roof-terrace: alone, i would have suffered far worse than bruises.
i shiver - typing standing up - at the thought.

Friday, June 17, 2005

love the one you're with

he's a still-waters-run-deep kind of cat, is basil, and i perceive his demeanor as stoic, although he has nothing, actually, to be stoic about. he is cherished by his owners, and when they're on holiday, like now, he is cherished by me.
caring for him, and caring for this little white house on the water, even for just a week, satisfies my soul: i wake up with the weight-watching bulk of a purring pussycat draped over my ankles, and the sights and sounds of morning amsterdam in the street below, and (though, i know, house- and cat-sitting is a serious responsibility) this is the perfect holiday, and i am content.

Monday, June 13, 2005

things gold, and things silver

"a wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and
tenacity. the order varies for any given year."
- paul sweeney

my husband, strolling just ahead of me last week along the oudegracht, stopped short, but before i could ask why, this sweet little still-life-in-yellow distracted me.
he grinned. "i figured you wouldn't want to miss that," he said.
he knows me well.
and so he should: we've been married for 25 years. today.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

destiny's child

this photograph, surfacing suddenly during a spring clean, bewildered me a bit: not
that i don't remember exactly who took it (my lovely roommate carole) and where (the alleyway next to our apartment, bidwell-just-off-robson in vancouver) and when (the early 70's); nor do i wonder what on earth i am wearing - i couldn't, and can't, resist a second-hand shop for the life of me.
what i don't understand is the brown bottle in my one hand and the cigarette in my other. wine has always been my beverage of choice, even in those days when there were only ghastly screw-topped domestics to be had. and i certainly didn't smoke - well, not tobacco, anyway - back then.
they were, i suspect, simply whimsical props; in hindsight, though, and wryly, i ponder the portent-factor of beer and bright orange: perhaps fate was setting the stage for a dutch future, for a life exactly where i am living it right now.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

rapunzel, rapunzel

for some reason - probably because a happy ending would be welcome right about now - this much-maligned structure overlooking the meester visserplein, caught in a glowing veil of evening cloud, suddenly felt like a fairy tale.