Monday, June 24, 2019


I am on a train to go to meet the bank for a grown up reason, and the first grown up thing I have had to do financially, despite running two successful businesses. I am going to ask for a mortgage so that I can buy a house in England. I think there is a name for this condition, which must be a medical one, for abject fear of money. I have always had trusted advisors or ex-husbands (1) who helped me through this stuff. For a modern woman who considers herself a feminist I am in fact embarrassed by my nerves, my lack of confidence on this level. I consider myself brave but I am the cowardly lion on this train, with a dry mouth and the jitters and a sick feeling in my stomach. 

Live your life as if the universe is rigged in your favor. I must remember this. 


Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Impossible Melancholy of Summer

The air is warm and muggy this evening two days after the solstice. I am in the woods and there is a of verdant beech overhead. The birds are singing still but the dogs are quiet, watching. There is circularity to these seasons; the pale naive opium poppies have blossomed since Friday. The wood pigeon sings its song and we are reminded that it is summer in England. And that the days are now shortening. There has been so much excitement about the solstice, about the party we planned three months ago (it seemed so far away), surrounding the rush to get things ready (a dog fox is barking in the woods behind me, rain is beginning to fall), to cut boughs of oak, to bring in stalks or wheat and barley, the pink roses for the table, that now, on Sunday there is an impossible melancholy. Not harsh or sad, but soft. It's a time for thought, and inevitably we are reminded of how short this little life is; of how important our friends are; to love only. 


Friday, March 29, 2019

March 29

My father died on the 29th of March, 1999, twenty years ago, and my mother reminded me of this fact by text. "It was the saddest day of my life," she said. "The others were on the whole happy."

I read yesterday about a woman with a strange genetic mutation who feels no pain, nor no anxiety. Her days, one supposes, are all the same, all happy. 

Our human ability to feel things, including empathy, is paradoxically what makes us fragile and what makes us strong. 

I know that my mother gave my father smoked haddock with a poached egg as his last meal. I know that she was with him in the ambulance, holding his hand, when he died. I know that when we were celebrating his 85th birthday just a few weeks before he died (and when he was fit and bright and dynamic) the lights went out at 9 o'clock and he made us light candles all around the house. The party had to go on. But it was a sign. 

And this evening, looking towards the Berkshire Downs, by Swyncombe Church, the sunset was so beautiful that I know he had a had in it. Another sign. A sign to not fear the future, or death. That death should be just another stage of life. A reminder to pay attention to all the beauty that surrounds us every day. 

I think of him less often that I used to. But he is always there, just around the corner, like a color or a light, a little bit of him, twinkling just out of reach. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019


I am not sure whether one is supposed to mourn a house. A friend, maybe. But I am mourning both. I have found myself this morning with a profound sense of loss, something I am not really familiar with. The days have been longer, brighter, sunnier. Spring is truly here and with it all the headiness of shedding the cold and dark. So I really have no reason to feel so heavy hearted. I have lost two things that were important to me, not to death, and I am thinking of Elizabeth Bishop. 

Los Angeles is my home. I can not deny the enchantment I feel. I am in its grip. Our house will be sold and with it my anchor. There is a finality to that. The fact that the man who is buying the house is someone I know, someone completely lovely, a man with the heart of a poet, does not help. Or perhaps it does a little. 

The friend is different. Although I use that word carefully now. I wonder how far does a friendship go when an infraction cannot be forgiven. I say that not as a judgement but an observation. I screwed up royally but not intentionally. I apologized profusely over a year.  I have attempted to be present and to make reparations. I am sad.  There is nothing else that can be done. 

I want to be the "fuck you" person but I am not. I want to say it loudly and mean it. But I don't. I am sad and I am mourning the end of a long, long friendship. I will get over it, of course. There is so much to celebrate and so much to be grateful for. But today, on the first gray day in a week, I feel small and alone and not the roaring Leo tiger I am supposed to be. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Just want to note

I just want to note this here lest I forget, on the day of the vernal equinox and the super moon, that this is a big day and that this has been a big week. I can feel the planets realigning inside me. We have sold our house to a man with the heart of a poet, I am reconnecting with estranged friends and I am becoming an American citizen (I aced my test!). I can't sleep but it doesn't seem to matter. I am aware of the things that are whirling around me and I am making a note of this so so I can look this up days from now to understand it. If I were an astrologer I would chart it. Connections are being made that feel like ridiculous coincidences. Mother Earth, Guru Ram Dass, God makes her presence known. I don't feel alone. I don't feel alone. I feel connected and purposeful and part of a tiny cog in a huge and magical machine. I just want to remember all these beautiful threads so I can work them out and understand how they fit together. Or not. Maybe I shouldn't ask. But I have a profound sense of gratitude. A deep sense that this is right, that I am where I should be, and that there are forces conspiring right now for good in the world. I know that good things are coming for all of us.