One of the hardest things about moving from Portland Oregon to Washington DC was losing the sort of week to week contact I had with my friends in Portland. Thanks to Sue Pike, and many other welcoming people in Capitol Hill Village, I have found people who I love to call friends. Sue and I are in the Cinephiles group and like to go to movies together.
She has been travelling a lot lately and just returned from a trip to South Africa. I am anxious to hear about that. Before she got too busy with her travels, she took me to Hank's Oyster Bar on Pennsylvania Avenue to help me celebrate my birthday. I had heard good things about Hank's, and it was everything I thought it would be. We had a great table, great service and the food was fabulous. It was an evening to remember.
Thanks, Sue, not only for the dinner, but for the welcome as a friend.
One of the very special presents I got for my birthday was a book by my favorite poet, Gary Snyder. It is particularly dear because the "centerpiece" poem is an expression of grief over the death of his wife Carole Koda, who died in 2006. The poem is titled, "Go Now." It brought me back to the grief when Howard died, when I knew there was no other choice for him to "go" and also for me to "go" on...and death from a slow disease isn't "pretty." The "go now" in the poem advises the reader not to read it and turn back from the dark topic. It is a sad poem.
Of course, the book is very "Zen," and it is always good to be in the present moment....while still reflecting, as Gary says,
"This present moment
that lives on
The book cover is a woodblock print by Tom Killion and the back is a photo of Gary Snyder. I didn't think I would be able to do either justice and remembered a cast bell I used to have that I called my "Gary Snyder bell." This little painting is that kind of bell. I have peaceful memories from when Gary Snyder was my neighbor in Mill Valley, and (as I recall) gave me that bell...and of the times, over the years, that I hung the bell in my kitchen.
I am still celebrating my birthday, reflecting on the very thoughtful gifts from my friends and family. I am truly blessed.
My friend Patty sent me a lovely journal in a rich dark blue, embossed with a deep blue dragonfly. In the card I am sending to her, I changed the embossing to gold metallic ink....just so it would show up better.
Thank you Patty. I look forward to recording special thoughts in that journal.
No, not a coffee cup, but a gift card for coffee at Peet's. And there is a Peet's right across from my favorite movie theater, E St Cinema. I just drew the mug while I was there, and I think it worked out great....I can have more coffee other times and think about Jan. And wish that she were there with me. Maybe next time she comes to visit.
One of the really fun things I look forward to on my birthday is flowers from Virginia. She does not disappoint, This was a lovely bouquet from Caruso Florist, one of the nicest in DC. They were really colorful and perked up my living room mantel.
The also sent me a very thoughtful card and a birthday bonus, which I always deposit into my art account. I don't make as much money on my art as I did in Portland, so a cash infusion is a blessing.
Thank you, Virginia. This little card is on its way to you.