The dinner party went very well. Except for the Great Dane, who jammed his head under my chair and began his play-growl at my feet which made all the guests nervous. Then he played his jumpy-jumpy game as he was removed from the kitchen and nearly knocked me over. Not a proud moment for a dog owner.
I’m still sick and feeling low. Minor stuff, sinusitis and feverish fluey symptoms. Cancelled for a birthday supper tonight and I may cancel for a birthday brunch on Saturday. I’m taking spoonfuls of local honey to see if that lessens the hay fever Listening to Miles Davis because jazz makes me feel more ‘bluesy with a purpose’.
Reading Sven Birkerts on Sebald, the fired-up intensity of discovering a writer who reminds you what books are all about:
Books are so easily masked by familiarity, crowded into indistinctness by others of their kind, their original explosiveness gone latent, awaiting some circumstance in the life of the reader to make them actual, as the writing was for the writer. Books are singularities, trade routes for private intensities. We forget this. Reading itself falls to habit, the eye switching back and forth down pages, down the lengths of columns, just another thing we do, until one day a book comes along that has the force, or is such a fit to what we need, that it renews the act for us. How did we ever forget what happened that first time, whenever it was, with the eruption of another’s voice, that stark surprise breaching of time and distance, the sense we had of standing high on a ledge looking over?
We need more poems about work, the different kinds of work we do, the mundanity and necessity and goodness of work. I’m thinking this today because I can’t do much work with a clogged-up head. But I can read poet Susan Meyers on work and motherhood –
Mother, Washing Dishes
She rarely made us do it—