I went to a lecture last week. Ilya Kaminsky, a famous Ukrainian poet, began by asking “How is life on this shiny planet?” I did not know how to answer him. He taped pictures by Diego Rivera to the wall and read from Calvino’s Invisible Cities. He spoke of how our work is always in conversation with others and pointed to two of my favorite artists. I was, all at the same time, utterly chuffed and in complete despair. And I wondered how am I ever going to find myself in the middle of that conversation? I remain a child standing at the edge of the room watching the adults play word games in a language that I am just learning.
Later that afternoon while driving down the hill to town I was overcome by a deep wave of homesickness.
Do you remember the empty lot in downtown? The one that is so deep? There is an apple tree down there. Filled with little green apples — green apples that are about to ripen, many have red shoulders already. Somehow this does not seem hopeful to me. I must be deranged in some way.
Between all that and the disappointing lemon cake… well you can imagine my state of mind.
Yrs affectionately, L