Monday, January 28, 2008

week seven: small pleasures

Sharon Olds & me

I used to do this every week, make a running list of all the things that happened on each day of the week that were wonderful, that made me smile. I want to start doing that again, start reminding myself of the small pleasures.

Sunday: Dashing up to the Twin Cities to return a sweater and a dress to Bibelot; I now exchange for little treasures--an intricate sweater, a wool skirt, an apron, oven mitts with little birds. I am sad the gifts my husband gave me didn't quite fit--too small, too big, both--but glad I can replace them, and just in time because the gift receipt expires today. This afternoon: book club with three girls I adore, lovely conversation, tea in a jar.

Monday: Leaving for Palm Beach. Everything such a surprise--the heat, sweating, the palm trees wildly tilting out of the ground. My hotel room is bright but lovely. I am completely alone, on my own, for the first time in my life. This isn't true, especially when I lived in the Twin Cities without my husband, but this is my first time when I know no one and have no transportation--I love this feeling of independence, a small test. Also: I've discovered a small organic grocery store / coffee shop, and I've fallen in love with their turkey and brie on a croissant. This could be my every meal here.

Tuesday: First workshop, so many wonderful comments for revision. I am anxious to start tweaking, to revisit the images and make this poem stronger. There are a few poets I admire in class, too, which is nice. Tonight's reading is wonderful.

Wednesday: I get a notice from schmap that they would like to pull one of my swan boat pictures from our May trip to consider for their next Boston edition. I am flattered, amongst all this poetry, more good news, this from a photographic standpoint.

Thursday: My husband joins me and we eat outdoors, holiday lights strewn on palm trees and spiked shrubbery. We have beer, we celebrate our being in another state while our home grows colder. This is a beautiful place to be.

Friday: The beach, my feet in the sand. I love taking pictures with my long lens, capturing the birds, though I think some may have been frightened by this white blob toddling behind. Tonight, Claudia Emerson, a poet I hadn't heard of until now, a poet whose books I will order from our independent bookstore as soon as I get home. I've fallen in love with her voice, her imagery, the stories she tells in that warm Southern accent.

Saturday: I meet the one living poet I admire beyond all others. Actually, the one poet period that I admire above all others--the person who introduces her calls us "groupies." I can relate, this shadow worshipping. The panel discussion today was also fantastic; me, in the audience, scribbling notes and taking quick pictures.

What were your small pleasures last week?

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