Days of Awe

Last week was very difficult for me, having to make three company dinners, one Wednesday for Rosh Hashonah, and then Friday and Saturday, but it was wonderful having Melenie here. She helped me by downloading stuff that was on her laptop that had disappeared in the Great Computer Erasure so I could have some of my recipes and correspondence back.

I contemplated my shortcomings as we do during this period. I had been depressed since I lost my work. I had managed to write a poem but then discovered that all but 4 chapters of my revision of a full third of my novel had vanished. That sent me into another tailspin. The day after Rosh Hashonah, in my declaration of kavanah – serious intention for the year – I ordered myself to stop sulking. There are people in Puerto Rico, for instance, suffering far more than the loss of their work. So much evil and just plain disaster is happening that its small potatoes what has happened to me.

Since my resolution, I have written four poems and begun to think about the novel again. I have also resolved to straighten out my office and bedroom. I did tidy the livingroom before all the guests came through last week. I am resuming my decluttering efforts.

This week I discovered my dentist had neglected three cavities, including one under a crown that’s very serious indeed. I have to change dentists. I guess after a while, all dentists get bored with my lousy teeth. Since I was 17 and started going to dentists on my own after not having a seen a dentist growing up, I’ve tried to be scrupulous in taking care of teeth and gums.

My new poetry group met here Wednesday evening and that was great. I hope the others felt that way too. We’ve agreed to meet the last Wednesday in each month and bring two poems to critique.

The tomatoes are finally finishing but the peppers are producing. We are doing better with winter squash this year after Woody built raised beds for them, but the pumpkins got borers and will have to be moved next spring.


Finally the weather broke yesterday after days of humidity so overwhelming it was hard to move, to do anything. Even the cats gave up and collapsed. Now it’s dry and everybody feels more alive. Thursday night we were taken out to supper at Terra Luna, the favorite hangout of Woody and colleagues from the radio station, by a woman who had interviewed me for her Harvard divinity school thesis. Meghan Finn turned out to be someone we knew of when she lived in Wellfleet. She comes back frequently. We liked her and plan to see her again soonish.

I’m writing this Friday as Yom Kippur begins at sunset Friday. At sunset tomorrow we’ll go to Ramon and Lois’s for an evening of poker with friends. Their condo in Puerto Rico where they spend at least half the year has broken windows and is full of water. There’s no water [aside from that pouring in]or power. They have no idea if it will be inhabitable after they can finally get there, but they know they lost all their furnishings. Poker is to take their mind off their losses. They know it’s bad because a friend went there but couldn’t get into part of the apartment. it was impassible. A refrigerator had been blown sidewalks, knocked open and was blocking a room entrance. Water was still pouring in.

Mingus, the oldest cat, and Schwartzie, the youngest, have formed a very tight bond. They cuddle frequently and wash each other as well as playing together. Schwartzie is much, much bigger than Mingus. Mingus likes that, to be surrounded by another warm cat.


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