Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Best of April

The immensely funny play, The Beard of Avon, at the relocated Pear Theater (still small, but maybe doubled in audience seating).  Who was that Shakespeare fellow, anyway?

For Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, deciding on my favorite of his lines.  Out of some two dozen, I guess I'd have to choose these, from the sonnet on my silver Möbius strip bracelet:
  Love is not love
   Which alters when it alteration finds,
   Or bends with the remover to remove.
   O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
   That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
   It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
   Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
   —Sonnet 116

Getting to hear Jane Hirshfield read new poems, on campus.  And the comfort these last lines of her poem I've found again, "Recalling a Sung Dynasty Landscape," brings:
  And the heart, unscrolled,
   is comforted by such small things:
   a cup of green tea rescues us, grows deep and large, a lake.

Getting to picnic with friends, on grilled lamb and eggplant, charry baba ganoush, farro tabouli with fresh mint, laughter and learning and the tiny fuzzy tickly feet of caterpillars—the stuff of feasts.

Getting to lunch with friends, at Chocolate on Pacific, and buy books next door at Bookshop Santa Cruz.  A spicy Fuego hot chocolate to begin, and then grilled swordfish with lemon and capers, to celebrate an April birthday.  Watching the play of surfers on the waves after, and then the afternoon sunlight all up the coast.

Getting to lunch with yet another friend at Shoreline Park, looking out at a sailboat on the lake, remembering wind in my sails, the play of water under me and all around.  (Lake Merritt years ago, in college, coming from that land-locked water-craving land.  Discovering also the campanile, frogs, philosophy, the letterpress, shared balconies, Lord Peter Wimsey, the stone faun in the green courtyard between dorms, blueberry doughnuts warm at midnight between bouts of studying.)

Orange tea buns, made with buttery croissant dough.

Sitting at a breezy table above the ocean at Pescadero, with sweaters, sandwiches, and books.  The rock of cormorants like a lesson of sorts, or a stanza.  Something substantial and specific to take note of.

Seeing the sprightly over-90 Donald Pippin at his piano conducting our old favorite Pocket Opera in the painted theater at the Legion of Honor on a Sunday afternoon.

While there, in that Greece-like setting on pine-shaded cliffs over a farther sea, eating in the walled patio (remembering the elderly couple drinking champagne that February on the roof of the Uffizi in Florence), and seeing the light-drenched Bonnards again.

The music of another old favorite—Donizetti—whose home in Bergamo I once visited.  His opera about the final love of Queen Elizabeth, Roberto Devereux.

Juncoes outside the front windows doing an exuberant dance of spring.  Full of t(h)rills and breathless levitations as a passage from Mozart.

How nice the washing machine delivery guys were, despite the awful afternoon they'd had and our long wait.  Having it slip in easily, over the grassy stones behind the house, and into place, the ancient dust mice swept away with the green push broom.  Remembering Jane Hirshfield's poem about the clothes dryer.
  When the body dies, where will they go,
   those migrant birds and prayer calls,
   as heat from sheets when taken from a dryer?
   (from "Three Mornings")

(Re)discovering the paintings of Henri Le Sidaner.

The extravagant deep purple blooming of the clematis on its lacy arbor against the house wall, and the grace notes of the lighter purple blossoms.

image:  Sunday, Henri Le Sidaner

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