This is the view across the street from Buvette, a cafe on Grove Street in the Village. It is a romantic view, especially that winter afternoon earlier this month as I drank a perfect cappuccino and waited for a friend. There is something about a cafe in a city when I am travelling that cleans my slate. It is as if I can step away from my placid life and be someone capable of anything, making a meaningful life out of art and life. I am so comfortable turning in at ten, or even earlier, after a day of teaching or puttering about, cleaning, making plans for the future, that I wonder at myself. I subscribe to Vogue, yet dress like Walter Mitty.
Can one make a dramatic turn in a life, or is one doomed to remain who one has become? Can I dress in bolder colors, wear beads and gems? Live in the present, a friend implored, and though my work involves sketching the past and the might-have-beens, I want to take this good advice to heart. What do I have right now? The sound of my brother on the phone with a friend from his college days; the kitchen smells of my mother and niece making pancakes, the voices of my sister-in-law and father conversing, and me, at the dining table, a stretch of space, a clean slate, goosebumps.
The new book will be a continuation, beginning again with news of a pregnancy. I have created a storyboard on Pinterest. It is about gardens, color, women and dreams. It is a kettle of water placed on a flame. Soon, I will pour a cup.