After a visit to the art store I am fully happy, returning home in the half-hour before dark when trees and sky can still be distinguished, one from the other, with rolled sheets of wonderful papers from the big drawers (having learned recently that rice paper isn’t made of rice, any more than lobster sauce in Chinese cooking isn’t made from lobsters, although oyster sauce is made from oysters, that delicious smoky sauce that flavors beef and onions sizzled quickly in a wok, best at the long-ago hole-in-the-wall café in downtown Oakland with my parents and some college friends)
. a red paper with moments of newsprint pressed into it
. a lovely deep purple paper (and one, silver and purple, I resisted)
. paper with flower petals
. an elegant teal paper with a design, like flocked wallpaper in a tall Victorian house in a rambling yard.
I have been tempted by the gooey oil paints, the tubes of viscous color, that I would love to glob onto rough canvases, feeling the sensual smooth ooze of them under a big boar’s bristle brush. Maybe one day soon I’ll give in to that urge.
But in the meantime, I move on to the health food grocery in the next block, and come out with
. Doctor Kracker seeded spelt crispbread
. chèvre with roasted green chili
. cranberry ginger oatmeal
. black bean and roasted vegetable burritos and a saffron Indian wrap
. sweet almond oil for giving moisture to winter skin
. a cherry-red Chico bag
And tomorrow a friend has promised homemade tamales, plump in their cornhusk wrappers, ready to steam.
I am so hungry, for all these things, hungry with all my senses, wanting and having at the same time. Greedy for abundant life. Even the lamplight makes me happy, in this mood. Its buttery yellow, that brings back older rooms, the people who lit them. The pile of books beside my bed, the Thomas Hardy I intend to read again (remembered and pulled off the shelf this past Bonfire Night), the mysteries from Bookstore Santa Cruz, the little philosophical sheep book.
And there is always more, to feed my sensual hunger. Oh, that’s what’s wonderful—there’s always more.
image: Oil paints, Sarah Jane Studios