Will you love me?

Will you love me?

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Monday, April 22, 2019

I get a text from my hair stylist from a hospital bed, scant-hours old infant resting comfortably on her breast.
“I’m so in love,” she texts.
That’s the full message.
It’s enough.
Oh! And a picture of the beautiful child.

Thus another first-time parent launches herself on what will be a twenty-year sojourn of parenting and care-giving, including physical exertion, teaching, training, transporting,
feeding, bedding, worrying, encouraging, and on.

How much love does it take for a parent to accept that responsibility?
An awful lot.
So much that one’s heart can hardly hold it without cracking.
So much that one will sacrifice anything to protect that child.

And what will the infant do to deserve that love?
Be.
That’s all.
Just be.

Sleep.
Eat.
Gurgle.
Cry.
Soil diaper.

“I’m so in love,” she texts.
And in the coming years, to sustain her parenting, she will need every last molecule of that love.


Remember that according to our own calendar, spring began on April 7 and extends to June 15.  The next few days will find temperatures close to 60* with a lot of sun.  Tick Tock. In clock language:   Enjoy today. Enjoy the week.

Remember that according to our own calendar, spring began on April 7 and extends to June 15.

The next few days will find temperatures close to 60* with a lot of sun.

Tick Tock.
In clock language:

Enjoy today.
Enjoy the week.

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Postings Count, Weather Brief, and Dinner

Monday, April 22, 2019

My 381th consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.
After 381 posts we’re at the 7.62% mark of my commitment, the commitment a different way of marking the passage of time.

Time is 12.01am.

On Monday, Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 61* with a feels-like of 61* with showers.

Dinner for tonight will be leftover goose.


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Question of the Day:
What is a café?

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Love your notes.
Contact me at domcapossela@hotmail.com

This from Tommie Toner:

Mary was a role model for all of us - that beautiful smile was awesome. Your tribute to her is lovely, Dom. 

love,

tommie

Web Meister Responds: Thank you, Tommie. You were the first of many.

And Tommie also sends this:

Thought you would be interested in our show starting the last week in May at the Beaufort Art Association Gallery.  A great thank you to Rob Shaw, my mentor and teacher and to all of the supportive, caring people in our Wednesday night group, and especially to my partner in crime, Dr. Susan Ellzey. Hope that some of you will be able to venture down to the Lowcountry and visit our beautifully renovated gallery and our show. The show runs through June 22.

http://lcweekly.com/art/5475-susan-ellzey-and-tommie-toner-images-in-clay-and-oiln

Web Meister Responds: If any of us finds ourselves near Beaufort, SC, Tommie is a wonderful artist.

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Chuckle of the Day
:
For far too long, the player stands over his tee shot looking up, looking down, measuring the distance, figuring the wind direction and speed.

A golfer taking a tee shot to begin a round of golf. Lilrizz - Personal Photo  "Forget it, man," says his partner. "You'll never hit her from here."

A golfer taking a tee shot to begin a round of golf.
Lilrizz - Personal Photo

"Forget it, man," says his partner. "You'll never hit her from here."

Finally his exasperated partner says, "What's taking so long?
Hit the damn ball!"

The player, "My wife is up there watching me from the clubhouse.
I want to make this a perfect shot."

"Forget it, man," says his partner. "You'll never hit her from here."
 





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Answer to the Question of the Day:
What is a café?
Find the answer in Howard’s “My Café Life” below.

cafe life a long pour.png

Occasional Notes
by Howard Dinin

I am not inclined to be of a merry disposition. Though, I do have my moments. Friends will tell you I have a sense of humor. A wicked one, though I think at times they might offer a gloss on that word that I’d prefer they didn’t.

For most of my life, let’s just say I’ve been of a more contemplative mien, more Penseroso than Allegro.

In the novel  Tom Jones , Henry Fielding opined that it is said wine in a man makes him dull, and it does, but only in a dull man… Similarly, there is nothing about a cafe to make it sad. Unless you walk in with it. Absinthe or coffee, whatever your poison, it’s not the drink that makes the café, is it?  [Degas, “Dans le Café” (in the café, or as it’s come to be called, “Absinthe”), painted 1875, in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. image: public domain, according to Wikimedia] The models, incidentally, were real people, known to Degas, and habitués of this café.

In the novel Tom Jones, Henry Fielding opined that it is said wine in a man makes him dull, and it does, but only in a dull man… Similarly, there is nothing about a cafe to make it sad. Unless you walk in with it. Absinthe or coffee, whatever your poison, it’s not the drink that makes the café, is it?
[Degas, “Dans le Café” (in the café, or as it’s come to be called, “Absinthe”), painted 1875, in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. image: public domain, according to Wikimedia] The models, incidentally, were real people, known to Degas, and habitués of this café.

So it was at a very young age, I was less than 30, that I became attached to a song by Janis Ian (it doesn’t matter if you recognize that name immediately) who was actually considerably younger, but only chronologically, and already had the vision of someone, let us say, closer to the age I am now. She wrote a hit song—in fact she wrote several. It was a song that immediately I became stuck to, one of a few anthems for my life, though I couldn’t know it at the time. I suppose there’s a possible and plausible analytic reason that it has persisted as a kind of theme, in addition to being a musical refuge, a solace, for me all this time. Let’s just say, either I was suited to the song, or in the course of time, my life went in such a way that the song became suitable.

Starting late in the 17th century, cafés in Paris evolved quickly into what became a First World model, as places of social engagement, discourse, learning (the news, debates, and such), and simple congenial encounters between neighbors—a community center as much as anything else. And it’s an expansive model, accommodating all sorts of behaviors, from the boisterous to the withdrawn, and every mood imaginable, from the forlorn to the exuberant. This is a contemporaneous 19th century engraving of the Paris café at its zenith as a social phenomenon.

Starting late in the 17th century, cafés in Paris evolved quickly into what became a First World model, as places of social engagement, discourse, learning (the news, debates, and such), and simple congenial encounters between neighbors—a community center as much as anything else. And it’s an expansive model, accommodating all sorts of behaviors, from the boisterous to the withdrawn, and every mood imaginable, from the forlorn to the exuberant. This is a contemporaneous 19th century engraving of the Paris café at its zenith as a social phenomenon.

My personal favorite among interpretations of the song (and there have been several, the most renowned by the inimitable Nina Simone) was performed by Barbara Cook, now gone, whose expressive soprano was the instrument for a certain plaintive, yet pure—unadulterated, like a single-origin coffee or a single malt whiskey—rendering of enduring emotional truths. She sang it mainly early in her career, and omitted certain lyrics from what originally for Ian clearly was a balladic manifesto of the need for honesty in song, and not merely a philosophical assessment of the existential human condition, as Ms. Cook would have it.

Overall, I would not suggest my life has in any way been untoward, that is, more so than for any other person. I wouldn’t say, and never have, that there is any more sorrow in mine—in proportion to the joys—than in any other person’s life. Certainly nothing to distinguish my life as somehow deserving of more empathy or pity, any more than I feel it’s deserving of envy.

It’s a life, and I make the most of it that I can and always have tried to do so. As a consequence, I seek my own rewards and my own solace. But I was talking about that song. Perhaps you know it, and I hope so; it’s called “Stars.” And let’s say a critical verse or two and the chorus are as representative as any other.

Some make it when they're young
Before the world has done its dirty job.
And some will say,
You've had your day,
Now you must make way.

Some make it when they're old.
Perhaps they have a soul
They're not afraid to bare,
Or perhaps there's nothing there.

Stars they come and go,
They come in fast,
They come slow,
They go, like the last light of the sun,
All in a blaze,
And all you see is glory.

But most have seen it all.
They live their lives in sad cafes
And music halls:
They always have a story.*

One of my favorite coffee houses (which I’ve already depicted in an earlier essay), Amherst Coffee, in Amherst MA, and very much an exemplar of a type of café: the college town gathering place and serious coffee drinker’s tabernacle. There are the communal tables like this one, and more intimate settings for a tête-à-tête. This scene is captured mid-morning, during a lull. At their early morning and lunchtime height, I have heard the diverse clientele engaged in academic debate, discussing department politics, and yammering about the New England winter weather. The café itself is a  tabula rasa  daily wiped clean to handle the full spectrum of emotions to be staged and endured here. image: © Howard Dinin

One of my favorite coffee houses (which I’ve already depicted in an earlier essay), Amherst Coffee, in Amherst MA, and very much an exemplar of a type of café: the college town gathering place and serious coffee drinker’s tabernacle.
There are the communal tables like this one, and more intimate settings for a tête-à-tête. This scene is captured mid-morning, during a lull. At their early morning and lunchtime height, I have heard the diverse clientele engaged in academic debate, discussing department politics, and yammering about the New England winter weather.
The café itself is a tabula rasa daily wiped clean to handle the full spectrum of emotions to be staged and endured here.
image: © Howard Dinin

That phrase “sad cafés” (appropriate enough here in a chronicle titled “My Café Life,” and yes, the reason I am on this tack in this place at this time) may vibrate in your literary mind, depending again on how expansive is your reading and, likely, how old you are. I am referring to the Carson McCullers novella, “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe.” I’ll only refer to the McCullers work to the extent that it represents an extreme—fully in the mode of the grotesque, as the genre of Southern Gothic often demands—the extremes of the ways in which love can go wrong. The café (originally a bootlegger’s house) in the title is the result of a reversal of attitude, briefly, and only very briefly, a benefit to the little town built on the impulse to sustain the good feelings only conviviality can generate. By the end of the tale, the café ends up shuttered (or shattered, if you prefer to be literal). Hence the “sad.”

Amherst Coffee reveals its pensive potentialities. The mark of a great coffee house is the extent it can accommodate your frame of mind, and your disposition of the moment. With nothing, the light, the decor, the serving ware, either insufficient or obtrusive. image: © Howard Dinin.

Amherst Coffee reveals its pensive potentialities. The mark of a great coffee house is the extent it can accommodate your frame of mind, and your disposition of the moment. With nothing, the light, the decor, the serving ware, either insufficient or obtrusive.
image: © Howard Dinin.

And I will only suggest that thereby there is a polarity about cafés. Their history, especially with its roots as a social institution in Europe, and in particular in France and England, as I’ve asserted previously, puts an emphasis on the sociological and political impact of what was the prevailing role of the café, beyond a place of refreshment. It has become, depending on location, among other things, and largely in this country, an extension of the office or the study hall, a meeting place for a broad range of “business” transactions, a trysting place, neutral ground, etc. But I would maintain it has always had a role for the individual, seeking isolation, perhaps as refuge temporarily, or as a place to think or specifically to meditate. Or perhaps, only as a way to be alone, yet maintain one’s sense of being part of a larger social milieu. A reassurance.
[*lyrics to “Stars” copyright © Janis Ian. Fair use.]

handbag and woman.png

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Good Morning on this Monday, the Twenty-Second Day of April.

We posted a thought on loving a child.
And in short order counted our postings, talked about the weather, and prepped leftover goose for dinner.
Tommie sent a couple of emails which are posted and we printed Howard’s latest entry to his series on “My Café Life,” and decided to make that today’s Q and A.
And a chuckle, always a chuckle.

And now? Gotta go.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Your love.