||[Aug. 9th, 2011|11:49 am]
Harder than I thought -- making the cut, really. What, just NINE!?!?! Makes me feel a little better, despite it having been a truly frustrating, crab-inducing day so far, reminding me that there have been lovely little pleasures fairly recently and there is an apple in my lunch bag. |
1. Large mammals. Oh, all animals, from tiny intricate beetles to a giant mound of whale slicing through the waves! But resting my head against a flank or shoulder, pressing my cheek against fur, inhaling the vague animal funk, letting my heartbeat slow and match the animal’s pace...nowhere else am I at such peace and contentment.
2. A fresh, crisp apple. The sound, the tang, the spritzing of juice against the inside of my mouth, the resistance against my teeth and then sudden surrender and snapping off of a large piece. At the other end of the spectrum, a warm piece of lobster dipped in salty butter. The smooth unctuous glide of the butter against my tongue, the tender, yet ever so slightly spongy and fibrous lobster with its faint sea tang as it gives beneath my teeth, the renegade slip of butter sliding down the outside of my mouth, captured just in time.
3. Biology. Living things fascinate me. The swirl of DNA, the intricate expressions of phenotype, the seemingly endless parade of variety, of adaptation, of new discovery. Always something new to see, new to learn about. A simple flower in a vase represents such a vast universe of wonder – the color, the shape, the adaptations, its part in the eco-system – that it helps me keep perspective.
4. The smell and feel of well-cared for leather. Funny, it has to be very utilitarian – boots, saddles, chaps, belts, knife roll, gloves, a purse or pouch. Leather upholstery, leather clothing such as pants...leave me cold. Just doesn’t seem as honorable or respectful of the animal. But oh, when it’s supple, yet strong enough to do it’s job..yes, that's a worthy end for a cow.
5. The water. It has two aspects for me: smell and being. I am far away from the ocean as I think I can stand. Which is ironic, because damn near the only time I get near the ocean is when I’m not in Maryland. But I need to feel that I can bolt there if I need to. That tang of salt air drops my blood pressure by points. The Great Lakes unnerve me. I can’t reconcile the look with the absence of smell. There are many things I love about Chicago, but I think the dissonance might drive me mad. I do love being in the water and would swim every day if I could manage it. There I am graceful and powerful and free of gravity.
6. Reading a book. If I could manage to make a living simply reading books, that would be heaven. I miss having uninterrupted time when I could just plow through a book. Someone else always needs me, wants to talk to me, it’s too late, it’s time for something else. Despite that, I still manage to read several each month, toting them around the house, reading while brushing my teeth, reading right before I go to sleep, reading while I wait for the shower water to warm.
7. The color of the green when the leaves just start to come out. That color, when the leaves are JUST unfurled, a bit translucent so that the sunlight can pass through. When the leaves are tender and trembling with potential. That color. If I saw that color every day, it would make my heart burst with too much joy, so I’m almost glad it’s a very fleeting color. Almost.
8. Being held. Which is very strange, because I spent most of my life not touching or being touched, except in very specific ways and times. And I trained myself to reach out and to not draw away because it just seemed so damned anti-social and now I find I crave it. To flop in a puppy pile of friends to watch a movie or just to snuggle up against another person, nestling against them. I suppose a variant of the large mammal thing of #1, but it’s much less of me drawing peace, than of a warm and loving feedback loop that sometimes can’t get enough of.
9. Being alone. (Because I am nothing, if not conflicted.) I do need the still. The quiet. The just-me. The no-one watching, no-one wanting. I miss the days of working for myself and cooking all day with not a single other human being around. I enjoy my own company and my life has not lent itself, lately, to enough of it.