Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dandy, Focus, Joy

"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.

Long exposures on modern cameras are short but take in a lot. So do our eyes and so do we if we focus. I can't force joy. It comes when it will. But let me focus! Tell me: what do you wish for?


  1. I have been missing you. Nice to get your post.

  2. I wish for more understanding, more focus on education, especially amongst the young ones. What a beautiful post. Many thanks, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Greetings from London.

  3. Hello, Bluedog--it's good to be back and to have found a narrative/telling voice again no matter how imperfect. I wish you all good things. It's good to hear from YOU!

    Be well, Cuban in London! I share your wishes.

  4. Good to hear you, Mim - yes indeed. And, as you ask: I wish for a change of heart - everywhere. And renewal. And that I could eat plain chocolate without getting migraine.

    Merry everything of the season to you.

  5. Mim, nice to read from you again!
    I wish I could learn how to calm down and find inner peace (at least every once in a while).
    That may be egoistic, but it's my deep wish.
    all the best to you, smilla

  6. Dearest Mim, thank you for your generous heart and for your good friendship. All best wishes for a rich, healthy, happy year full of curiosity and passion and adventure. Love, Melissa

  7. Signs--potent, dangerous chocolate. I too have trouble with it--rather my stomach does as never before.

    Signs, Smilla, Cuban: we're wishing together for similar things in this Age of Anxiety.

    Melissa--It's you who are so generous!

  8. But is it 'joy' if it's forced? Maybe you're just insisting on authenticity, the first cousin of honesty. Happy Christmas, Miriam.


  9. Dear Mim - it's 2 weeks since you posted this and the light in it lingers.

    I wish for simplicity and renewal, imagine joy might bound along beside them.

    I hope you are well, Mim, and that your writing is sustaining you.

    Happy New Year.
    Claire xo

  10. No can't force joy, Penal Colony, P.C. for short, I believe forced joy, if there is really such a thing, is shooting up. No needles for me. Authenticity--yes! But do we have to choose between authenticity and artifice. Dandies like artifice, which also exists in nature. I'm thinking of brilliant plumage. Preening is a kind of artifice.

    Claire--far away and near. Simplicity and renewal--that's the ticket. I ticket but no theater to enter. Possibility. Inviting possibility.

  11. Coach Hobos Bags.Those are the awesome shops I wanna tell you guys Movado Bold,Baby Carriers I mean I am serious for this, you can just simple choose this option and pick what you want,power balance,winter boots,ecco shoesyou can just simple choose this option and pick what you want.Bakugan Toys.coach outlet store.