"Banish the will to be dreary," said the designer Dorothy Draper, when she wrote about giving parties. Draper was a dandy. The dandy chooses high style--bella figura. Cut a beautiful figure. In the end, nature triumphs but until it overcomes us completely, twirl, dress up, decorate. Yet let me tell you, I'm not decorating much--a few strings of bright lights--but I'm enjoying gazing at my neighbors' lights, and avoiding what some have called "a false sense of urgency," by staying away from my computer except to check e-mail and work on poems. There's been enough real urgency. You can imagine--the same things that cause urgency in your lives.
I've seen a few friends in the flesh and gazed at their faces and listened to their stories. I watched artist Melissa Shook's video, Kemper and Me, in which she and Kemper, to whom she was once married, talk about theirs lives with remarkable candor. They are honest without being hurtful, a remarkable feat, especially to someone like me who is quick on the trigger. (I mostly show that side of myself to J.--poor J.) I turned off the flash on my camera and set it for long exposures to pick up night light and motion.