Friday, October 08, 2004

Peony Sea

Nothing like a little wine at lunch to give one a fresh perspective. Sometimes I forget how beautiful my life is. If I were in a sea of lavender peonies, would even that exquisite flower move me? Hmm... bad example. If I were in a sea of lavender peonies, I know very well I would thrash about in exalted sensuousness. But let's say I was adrift in the peony sea for a year or so. Might not interpret them properly: their petal softness might cloy, their color might mean less against a backdrop of the same color.

I rang my mom at lunch, and while I was talking to her the pincer came and inquired if I was finished eating, I told him finom volt (it was delicious), and in that instant I realized how lucky I am, in this city, in that courtyard, in the sunlight, with a strange language on my tongue. Was it the wine, really? Or was it the magic of confluence of disparate elements at a precise moment?*

But there is a burden that comes with all this Beauty. I feel acutely that the time for taking and reveling is narrowing. The time for Giving is near. How will I leave an imprint of gratitude on the world? It's very well to pick up litter, it's very well to offer fragile ladies my arm as they descend stairs, and all very well to encourage others' creativity, but my debt runs deep, and these are but pennies against my balance. How will I pay it? I don't know yet. Shall I trust that the way for me to do this will present itself? Or do I fix my consciousness on it until I come up with something?

But wait: are these feelings anything to do with vestigial maternal sentiments? (Horrors!) Don't even THINK the foul and fatally unglamorous words "biological clock." oh,..I do feel ill. These are the words uttered by your parents' friends accompanied by a wink and a knowing smile at neighborhood BBQ's. Hideous. The next time they give me that wink and smile, I'll toss my boa across my neck and say, "Isn't it a pity about the Concord?"

* why do people say "a moment in time?" As opposed to a moment in sauerkraut?


At 4:31 PM, Blogger andrew s.yang said...

the peony sea is a wonderful image, as the sentiment.

i had a "moment in walnuts" the other day. it was prettty wonderful. so true, what a wasted opportunity & redundancy to just say "time" without referring to the experience!

sadly, gender and generationality and power do seem to be at that center of your experience with "letter to an acquaintance." excepting your acquaintance's presumptiousness, it makes me think about how we can speak about experience without an attempt to possess it, or the others we share it with, most generally. i can think of nothing more complex. but i think your writing does a good job of just this.


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