amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Ottawa, October 15, 2020: this is how my birthday went

polaroid photo from afternoon flowers series by Charles Earl   

Charles had the day off and we spent much of the day snuggling and snoozing together. He made us bacon and eggs, nachos for lunch, and we had some delicious Chinese food delivered with favourites, including lemon chicken.

Marcus McCann, a dear friend shared an article he had written about cruising during the pandemic, the importance of advocating for harm reduction rather than abstinence, kindness over shaming. I read it aloud to Charles.

 I was serenaded happy birthday by two people who are very dear to me: Kirby and Joakim Norling, who sang in Swedish.

 I had a conversation with Gary Barwin for the Small Machine Talks. Gary is a creative whimsical person I have admired for many years, probably in other lifetimes too.

 I received lovely birthday greetings and kind words on social media and in e-mail from friends and also from lovers, former lovers, future lovers.

Charles and I watched one of my favourite movies, Where’d You Go Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchette, one of my favourite actresses. I love this movie because it addresses the issue of the importance of creativity for the artist and shows how important creativity can be to the world as well, even when it is often disregarded or given a low priority. It’s a movie about the love between a mother and a daughter and how precious life is.

On the weekend Charles will make his annual New York-style cheesecake, as he has been doing every year since my health crisis in 2009, when, after I came out of the hospital, he was trying so hard to find foods that I could keep down. He also roasted a turkey for the first time then too. Gentle, nurturing and decadent foods that offered both comfort and delight then and still do.

 I am sitting here drinking Aranciata, a bubbly sparkling orange beverage while listening to music and sitting in the home office I share with Charles at the end of the evening. The dishes are done. Coffee is set up for tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I will attend a practice session for the John Newlove Poetry Award on Zoom with all of the participants. I am content. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful for love, friendship and community. And now I am 57. Let the wild rumpus continue…

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