I had a lot of ideas of what to write about today when I was meditating but they seem to have floated away in a fog of some kind of sore throat coldy thing. However, I will say that I had a lovely birthday yesterday, including a spa massage, hot tub, sauna, the works. Bill did get in touch and wish me a happy birthday, so was glad of that, too.
My favorite voice mail message came from my ex-step-father David saying “You can’t be 48, because that makes you older than meeee!” I know what he means because I too am stuck in some time warp wherein he’s in his 40s and I’m in my 20s and I can’t fathom the fact he’s on the way to 70 anymore than the fact I’m on my way to 50, god/desses willing.
OK, but aside from all that, I had a lovely day, which included a very full moon and the knowledge if not the sight of a lunar eclipse in the UK. The sight in moonlit silhouette on the flat water off Laos Point of people paddle boarding, which made them look like they were floating on the water, the warm-cool air, the vision of the twilight turning to gloaming during a meeting with friends in yet another church hall looking out at a cove. Gorgeous and soft.
Below are some photos, one outside the spa with the rows of little umbrellas and the other of my lovely friend Julie, so you can see how lovely she is. I dare you to guess her age, you will be wrong. But I will never tell.
|My friend Julie, one of the best people in the world...post-spa day on beach|
|little umbrellas in little rows on Montauk|
I am now preparing, or trying to without success I should say, to prepare for meeting the Bukoskis tomorrow. I cannot even begin to fathom the weirdness of this meeting and how much I do not know. I do not know still how they all fell out of touch with my grandfather or, as I suspect, vice-versa. I do not know what any of them look like. I do not know what it will be like to be referred to perpetually as a Bukoski. I do not know why my new/old cousin Patti wanted to know my favorite color. She said I will find out later. I still do not know the name or nationality of my grandfather’s mother, because she died after the first seven children were born and no one alive now comes from that pairing, as far as I can tell. I hope that that cousin with the family tree can help me with this. I don’t even know where my grandfather was born – in the US or Hungary or Slovakia? I do know his mother died of influenza, before the discovery of penicillin.
Will I feel more complete after tomorrow or in any way less lonely? I have always felt this sense of not quite rightness since I can remember, but then again I only lived with my mother and father together for about two years. But now this strange vacuum sealed existence of my grandparents makes more sense, because they had vacuum sealed it somehow, and I still don’t understand why. I wonder how/why my grandmother changed so much from the intelligent, engaged person I see in the photos of her when she was young to the angry shell I knew as a child and young person. It is so easy to judge her and so hard to understand. Also, my grandfather and the now open question about why he did not fight in WWII, was it his physical stature or the importance of his job doing administrative work for the Manhattan Project?
I am on the bus now returning to NYC and outside the window are rows and rows of grape trees on one side and a vegetable crop on the other. Rows are straight and orderly. The town of East Hampton looks like nothing so much as an attempt at an English village, which made me laugh this time around. I think I was somewhat intimidated by the staggering wealth and pretension visible here, but having lived in London for 8 years, this ain’t nuthin. Also, there is the other strata of people, the ones who live here year round and have gruffer voices and more solid frames. They are friendly and free of pretence, which makes the place bearable. But what makes it amazing is the white sand, the wetlands, the gentle waters. Where Julie lives is around the corner from the Krasner-Pollock house, which dark-humorously enough stands opposite a liquor store and auto collision shop. (In case you’re not up on your abstract expressionist gossip/history – Jackson Pollock died in a drunken car crash driving a young woman Somewhere…) My middle name is Lee after Lee Krasner, Pollock’s artist wife – the one who had the gall to live and only had a retrospective in her 70s or 80s at Brooklyn museum. When asked how it felt to have this exhibit (which was great btw), she said “It’s about time.” Bless her and all the women who have Lived long enough to be recognized for their work while still alive.
This also includes Louise Bourgeois and Alice Neel, the kick-ass women of modern art. That I should live so long and so well, produce so much and be so strong, this I pray.
My first name Julia is because in July Castro took over Cuba, and my parents met at a Young Socialist Alliance meeting in 1961 in Providence, RI. My father disputed this history of my name but offered no alternative theory, so I’m going with my mother’s version on this one. Sounds good anyway, no? Especially from someone who has a fake last name of Barclay in response to the fear of ‘Commies’ during WWII. It’s just too good to pass up.
Of course now the word communist is quaint and has been replaced by terrorist, but of course we can’t seem to live without someone to hate and fear can we? Speaking of which, below is another photo, of the pavilion in the spa lunch area.
|note the flags...just in case you were lost...|
Please note the American flags. Why, oh why, I ask and have asked and continue to ask, do we Americans need to put fucking flags everywhere? Do we not know where we are?
OK, I’ll stop…but I challenge you, Americans reading this, to get through one whole day without seeing an American flag somewhere (including on ads, pizza boxes, TV, billboards, bumper stickers, t-shirts, key chains, flying off someone’s car, public transport, buildings, any building, ball stadiums, etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseam…). One of the saddest things about NYC after 9/11 to me was the inclusion of American flags Everywhere. It had been a relatively flag-light place…but no more.
Having said that, I now live in a country with Queen stuff everywhere, and I don’t mean the band. So, I don’t think it’s American-specific, I think it’s nation specific and the need to identify with something larger and symbolic. What bothers me is how unconscious this is and how these ‘flags we rally round’ can become so dangerous and so easily used to promote wars for profit under the guise of so-called patriotism, etc. I know none of this is news, but at least as I rant on and on you can see I was named correctly. Though having said that I wouldn’t want to live somewhere that I had to see pictures of Fidel Castro everywhere either, just to be clear. It’s the whole ‘Rallying round’ thing that freaks me out. Period. Like the brilliant dearly departed comedian George Carlin used to say: people are fine on their own but when you get them into groups they kind of freak me out.
OK, I think I will wrap this up for today and see how I can post a blog on the bus. Life is weird these days, isn’t it?