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I am discovering that when I am frazzled for any number of reasons that smush together with no one thing outstanding, that driving sedately helps. No one on the road but you. In the rearview, the road ribbons back in an upward slope, suggesting space, silence, and just what one needs to get quiet enough to think. It is labor day weekend and today is a full moon. Things are shifting, changing, as one phase slips into the next, and things need to settle. Be present in each moment, a friend advised as I debated whether to sit and work at a cafe, or if I should first buy a pastry in good faith, while waiting for my smoothie–honestly, amid all this privileged life, what do I have to be frazzled by?

For any work to get done, I do think one needs quiet. Stillness is a better word. One wants to mindfully dissolve into one’s surroundings, but alert. One wants to be capable, receptive, not annoyed by triviality. My solution was to buy milk and cheese, acutely aware that what I really needed was hot ginger tea to battle the telltale scratch in my throat that signals cold. Or allergy. But the real solution was to drive in a new route. I thought to stop in at the garden center and walk among the plants with my smoothie, but I remembered the milk. So I drove through the gorgeousness that is where I live. The dappled shade of the beach forest and the fawn-colored dunes. I passed a mild snarl of traffic–two cars, two bikes–but soon left it behind. I listened to music by saxophonist Claude Lawrence.

In all honesty, I did not carry the calmness in my heart forward, back at my home. But I did decide to sit down and write.

whole lemon and ginger tea with honey

whole lemon and ginger tea with honey (Photo credit: sweetbeetandgreenbean)

Late August, Nearly September

Bourne Bridge and Railroad Bridge, Wikimedia

Tomorrow my nephew turns two. His mother is my cousin, and she has declared unequivocally that I am his “Perriamma”, that is the aunt who elder on the maternal side. How easier to say “nephew” instead of “cousin’s son” Newly arrived in the states, it was easier to say Indian friends were cousins to Americans who assumed we were sisters. As children, we were an assorted lot of different ages, and did in fact function like sisters, keeping an eye out for the younger ones, nitpicking over this and that. We called everyone’s moms “auntie” because it seemed to fit, though I had a favorite auntie of a handful of favorite aunties I called by the honorific, Mrs. But my cousin, my mother’s niece, has a son who turns two tomorrow.

Leaving Cape Cod is complicated without a car. The options are bus, ferry, or plane to Boston, then bus, train or jet to Newark. The cost is roughly the same from Colorado to Newark. I get stymied over travel plans that don’t involve business, because the possibilities are endless. How long to be away, what mode transport, and what is the cheapest possible option? Is it worth spending all the time on the internet hunting out a deal and saving only thirty dollars? What prevents me from making a decision? How hard can it be to drive? Look at all the links that have lit up as I write this post: Cape Cod. Newark. Boston. Colorado. Americans. Indian. Internet Hunting.nephew. cousins. aunties. It is a precis of what I have written. The salient parts except for one thing: Happiest Birthday, dear Uday!

“Poem” by Frank O’Hara

A lunch hour poem, read out loud by the poet.

Poem

A Phonecall from Frank O’Hara by Anne Waldman : The Poetry Foundation

A Phonecall from Frank O’Hara by Anne Waldman : The Poetry Foundation.

August brownies

Agust Brownies

Indira Ganesan, August Brownies, 2012

The fourteenth of August.  Tomorrow is India’s Independence Day. It is  also Julia Child’s 100th birthday. Happy birthday to both.

My library books are due tomorrow, though I already renewed them once.  I took out five, will return two, and renew again.  I thought I had yoga, drove to the rec center, didn’t see any cars, so drove to the yacht club, and none there, either.  Tuesday!  No class on Tuesdays! So I went to the beach, dipped my feet in the deliciously warm waters and collected stones for a garden art project.

Came home, made a smoothie, and created a distribution list for haranguing folks about my novel to come.  Apologies, you might get a letter in your cyberbox. Too hot to read those library books though I started two.  So, made a snack, wandered outside,  and unintentionally weeded the garden a bit.

Yet once you begin to weed, mindfulness takes over.  Called it quits.

Researched brownie recipes, and ate a few chocolate chips instead. A nap couldn’t hurt, I reasoned.

Why does August make me sleepier than any other month?

Woke, popped in a load of laundry, and made these brownies.  Brain food for the imaginatively challenged, (me, not HFW, obviously) I wrote on Facebook.

How does that chemical alchemy occur, the exquisite scent that is produced when sugar, eggs, chocolate combine so perfectly that the kitchen is perfumed?

The strawberry is from the garden; as is the chocolate mint.

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