A touch of flu
6:15 pm sunsets
Trout, eviscerated and then stuffed with tarragon, parsley, red onion and juicy slices of lemon
A cappuccino to take me from Merchandise Mart to my office in the West Loop, via the Kinzie Street bridge and the fragrant Blommer chocolate company
The possibility of rain
Golden glowing windows
Trees undressed by wind
Together, The xx
I’ve been listening to this song almost constantly since I saw The Great Gatsby on Sunday. I know, I waited quite a long time to see it. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the theatre to see it and then I sort of forgot about it. Anyways. This song. This song.
I had the immense privilege of visiting the upper rooms of the Joffrey Ballet last week. I wrote about interviewing Stanton Welch, the choreographer for their upcoming ballet (La Bayadère) for Gapers Block, but I only alluded to how mesmerizing it was to watch the dancers rehearse right in front of me.
Dance is without a doubt one of the purest forms of art, because art is all about embodiment and well, dance is all about the body. Watching the dancers at the Joffrey use their body to express feelings and conflict was empowering. Like the best art, it made me feel hopeful. It made me feel connected and understood, even though there’s no way I could hold an arabesque or twirl midair. I was envious of how easy the dancers were with their bodies, how completely unselfconscious as they performed. They were beautiful.
In any case, if you live in Chicago I hope you’ll try and see the show. I hope you’ll think about how to become more comfortable in your body, to recognize it as the perfect medium for imperfect, incomplete human expression.
It happens overnight: the light shifts from the white-hot of summer to the deep gold of fall. Although the sky’s a deep blue, everything else seems gray and red: trees against buildings, sidewalks littered with yellow. I pull out sweaters and smile at how threadbare they seem, worn out still from last winter (they haven’t slept long enough yet). Suddenly, all I want to drink is bourbon on the rocks, feel the warmth of it as it passes from my throat to my stomach and settles. I’ve been listening to Phantogram. In the mornings I shiver as I wait for the water to heat up, as I brew my tea, sweep a charcoal line across upper lids. The season’s for firewood-smell in alleys and for buttered toast and for boots with holes in their soles and for umbrellas in the bottom of the purse, waiting for an unexpected storm.
I’ve been writing for Gapers Block and it’s given me an excuse to do the things around my city that I always tell myself I want to do but often decline to do because it’s late and I think I’m too tired. A few days ago, I had the privilege of visiting the Joffrey Ballet and watching a snatch of the rehearsal for an upcoming show. I’ll write more about it later, but watching the dancers reminded me of how I often take the small, beautiful things in my life for granted. I’m so happy right now and I don’t want to brush it away, chalk it up to luck or to — and how often do I do this? — “this too shall pass”.
Isn’t it funny how easy it is to forget the best times of our lives, how easy it is to numb ourselves to them as we’d numb ourselves to the bad times? Maybe it’s because we’re afraid the good times won’t last, and that by keeping ourselves from enjoying them fully, we’re protecting ourselves from experiencing loss and disappointment. And yes, I’ve never had a harder year, but I’ve also never had a more beautiful year. I think the two go hand in hand; deep emotion births deep emotion, but they balance each other out, they teach one another to be true and to be whole and to give us what we need for each season.