i’d like to share a new story from the warp & weft today – a story that means a lot to me personally.
on feb 1st this year, my favorite teacher left this world unexpectedly. i was heartbroken. the force of my reaction surprised me. there is so much more to us than meets the eye, even our own internal eye.
there are 30 trillion cells in the human body. there are multiplicities, temporalities, and mysteries buried inside of us. there is memory in each cell. we might not remember what someone means to us, until the body reminds us, by reviving thoughts and emotions – the messy, gelatinous stuff we’re made of.
here is a beautiful tribute to our monsieur maurer written by his best friend of 65 years, the wonderful belgian writer Paul Couturiau. pls listen to/read this story of deep friendship.
with my sister and brother on sunday. couldn’t barbecue outdoors so we grilled burgers in our oven. first big get together since covid. taboo, heads up, dumb charades, and lots of laughter. photo by my sister in law.
it’s our daughter’s birthday today. we named her nermeen from ‘nerm,’ meaning softness or gentleness in urdu. lora mathis hadn’t come up with the idea of ‘radical softness’ back then, but without having the words for it, i knew it was a rejection of the cutthroat capitalist systems we live under. the survival of the fittest and all that. i was hoping for something different. happy birthday gentle one! love u forever <3
got my second dose of the pfizer vaccine at jones beach today. not a bad place to get shots:) huge parking lots, large makeshift tents, the national guard guiding traffic and making everything go smoothly, nurses giving people shots inside their cars (u never step out of ur vehicle), people looking out for u while u wait 15 min to make sure u don’t have a reaction, and then u drive away. they have the capacity to vaccinate 5000 people per day. and then there’s the atlantic ocean. grateful.
i had been feeling blue for a while. it’s hard to be homebound and work on one’s computer all day, every day. so today, i turned on the music, loud, on my wonderboom, and cleaned the whole apartment. there is something deeply satisfying about being in motion and scrubbing. isn’t cleanliness next to godliness:)
then i put on my snow boots and drove to #lakeronkonkoma. i had no idea if it would be walkabale or not, with all the snow on the ground. lake #ronkonkoma is about 10 min from where we live. it’s the largest and deepest lake in #longisland – 92 feet at its deepest. the indigenous people of this land considered it a bottomless lake, so sacred that they wouldn’t fish in its waters. but they did perform wonderful ceremonies all around it.
i have always, since day one, felt a deep connection to lake ronkonkoma. there is something unreal about the blue of its waters and the translucent light and sky above them.
the lake was particularly moving this afternoon. the sky striated with shades of blue, grey, light-filled yellow and gentle purple hues. something delicate and liquid. the lake covered with ice. still, white, expansive. i walked in the snow and learned to keep my balance, held by the enchanting beauty around me. my eyes rejoiced.
in urdu, there is this expression ‘aankhoon ki thandak’ – the coolness of one’s eyes. those we love give us pleasure, when our eyes behold them, they provide cool relief to tired eyes. i kept thinking of this expression. my eyes too felt relaxed, not just because of the cold weather but because of the serenity the lake offered so generously.
i know all our situations are different, but if u can, go outside, walk in the snow and feel connected to the world.