When I was in New York a couple of weeks ago, Mom and I did a fair amount of street corner shopping. Street corner shopping is the best, if you’re in Soho. (If you wander a few blocks south to Canal Street, then street corner shopping is the worst.) These are the things I bought:
three pairs of earrings
one ring with a lapis stone
three dishtowels from three different stores
and four cheap pashminas, which I will stitch into a lovely bedspread.
There seems to be a recurring motif here. Apparently, I am in a blue mood. It’s something about all those shades of ocean that gets me. It puts me in a calm place, a place of float and wade and splash, a place of waves on a shoreline, and distant horizons.
Blue is not as aggressive as red, which I also love; not as earthy as green, not as in-your-face-cheerful as yellow, not as self-proclaimed-arbiter-of-taste-architect-y as orange. Blue doesn’t have to be-in-your-face. It draws you in. It’s graceful.
Today got bluer; I joked about the house full of cats in the last post, but I was tempted to start my cat collection last night, walking home after I witnessed Handsome Cowboy gazing adoringly at someone who is Not Me. And so at my desk at work today I cranked up Adele’s Someone Like You, and Brandi Carlile’s song with “alone is the last place I wanted to be” repeated about twenty times, and then Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone for good measure: “can’t scrape together quite enough, to ride the bus, to the outskirts, of the fact that I need love…” Have mercy. If all that wasn’t enough blue, I suppose I could dig up “Woman Left Lonely,” and follow it with “Little Girl Blue” about six times. That ought to do it. That’s probably a whole weekend’s worth of wallowing, right there. If I’ve learned anything in my twenty-two years (don’t even say it, I’m telling you, I’m already blue) it’s that you have to go ahead and feel your feelings before they’ll go away. Really feel them, as in pay attention, and say it all out loud, and write it all down if you have to. Just do it. It’s so much faster than squelching, and then having a meltdown weeks later when someone in the distance plays a pedal steel guitar, and you have to put on your sunglasses at Cat’s Cradle so nobody sees you cry in the dark.
The good news is that writing a honky tonk song almost always helps. Today I gave my friend Michael the rough outline of the rapidly devolving situation over e-mail. He was kind enough to re-format my text and send it back to me in the form of song lyrics, pointing out that it was already a flawless start to a honky tonk song. He was also kind enough to provide the album title, “House Full of Cats,” and suggest “Yeti” as the opening track.
The better news is that, all shades of blue aside, I booked my campground this week for vacation in Maine. Since this trip is pretty much a surprise involving a fair amount of Divine Intervention, I had to make a quick decision, and I read all the campground reviews online that I could find. Every review of the campground I picked said the same thing: you can hear the ocean while you sleep. And we’re back to where we started: shades of ocean, calm place, a place of float and wade and splash, of waves on a shoreline, and distant horizons.
Blue on blue on blue.