I've just started listening to Suite française on my walks to and from work. Started it on Tuesday, and my brain did what it always does when I read about those times in history that seem so... full. It felt a little jealous of that fullness, that importance, and a little... what would you say?... disappointed, I guess, to be living in a time that seems so normal. Certainly a time that seems comfortable.
But then days themselves can be full. Tuesday. Full of stress and lovely moments and good things and bad things. Work day was nonstop as Powell's changed out its New Favorites displays for its Holiday Catalog titles and this year whole cases were moved and tables taken down and hundreds of books put in and taken out and mostly by me. Stress and exhaustion, and then I'm thinking about the air raid I didn't live through, that I listened to being read to me in the opening of Suite française, and then I'm walking to the cupcake store on my lunch break and presenting my morning helpers with cupcakes and I feel great, and then I'm back schlepping books.
A full day, too, because every time I popped on the computer--before work, at lunch, in the evening--it was lovely news for Stephen.
An image of the magazine cover with his art on it.
An image of a big sign outside of Seattle's Winston Wächter Fine Art gallery that includes Stephen's name.
[see it sort of in the middle, there?]
The news that they've already sold his beautiful series Les Humeurs.
In the evening it was a trip to meet up with the man who's been building my website so we could consult and he could hand me the keys and teach me to drive it around a bit. Lots of stuff packed into a thing like that--all sorts of stuff about future and ambition and hope and what a dangerous thing hope can be. Drove home in fog so thick it seemed to be carrying the car.
Then late, an e-mail, the kind with bad news, scary loved-one bad news--not the really dire kind, not at all, but it's a note equal parts reassuring and terrifying--and funny in that particular way he's always funny. Stephen standing in the doorway to make sure I'm OK.
Finally: past my bedtime, another full day tomorrow, and I go to get ready to sleep, and Stephen says, oh, we forgot the anniversary.
Five years from our engagement. It's right there on the calendar, and we've been watching it approach. We are big homage-payers and celebrators. But the day was just too full to fit it.
Stephen and me in the kitchen, and I take my two fingers and touch the little boxes of the calendar where they have the days printed. The Tuesday box says 10. The Wednesday box says 10. I put my fingers on two November 10ths and Stephen laughs out loud. It's not our anniversary at all. The day was just so full the number on the calendar grew. We still have tomorrow.
La Alameda de México, by José María Velasco, 1866
21 hours ago