Friday, June 1, 2007

Reeling in the Years

Why will the '70s pop songs never leave my head? Why is it that the '70s will never, ever go away? Sometimes I have a feeling that the world ended in the '70s, and we all branched off into another string universe of perpetual '70s.

I wonder how long it will be before we as a culture imagine for ourselves a future again, instead of endlessly lapping ourselves through various half-imaginary pasts?

The cocktail of the day is the Margarita--the real kind made with real lemon and lime. There is a recipe here , posted by my friend the incomparable Leigh Ann, who died on her motorcycle a year and two weeks ago. I think it was one of her last posts. She's listed the Margarita as the Cocktail of the Day the day she posted it, except that the page seems to display a perpetual calendar, so every day is margarita day, in memory of Leigh Ann. She was an extraordinary musician--she claimed to be channeling Leila Waddell when she played her fiddle, and I believe her. I just made myself one--it's biting cold, sharp and sweet--tropical air conditioning, and intensely elegant. Like all such perfect cocktails, it's hard to accept substitutes once you've been initiated.

Today is a beautiful languid sunny day, and it is my birthday. In a little while, we will go to one of the lovely little hippie music festivals they have around here all summer. None of them are anything like Burning Man. It's all more or less like it was well, in the '70s--a little less pot, perhaps slightly less sincerity. But somehow, New York state has managed to retain its memories of Woodstock more or less cheerily intact, so the weekend promises to be placid, with lots of nice neo-hippies and fairly interesting funky sorts of music. Who could resist a lead act by the name of Hypnotic Clambake?

Yesterday I spent putting in several gardens--a mini vegetable garden out front, and smatterings of flowers. Gardening looks so precious in the magazines--hatted ladies snipping delicately away at roses with little shears. But putting one in is all mud and muscle. My favoritist plantsof all are the lovely, old-fashioned bleeding heart, which I tucked among the ferns, along with gorgeous, extravagent columbine.

There's a fierce joy to life these days. I'm all awake and alive. Everything hurts just a little bit and everything is very bright. It has taken me this long to realize that joy isn't pretty. It isn't nice, and it isn't even particularly happy. It's more like, well, the full ferocity of life all through me and around me, whether I will or no.

I am sleepy, and there is no place I'm going to.