Friday, December 19, 2014

and I am rebegot / Of absence, darkness, death: things which are not

Things that happened in the past six months:

I moved into a new house, painted four rooms and began hunting for grown-up house things like art, antiques, and tribal rugs.

My book came out.

My husband's novel, which was released in a different country and language last February, gained an important agent and his own English translation is now being considered by US publishing houses.

I went to London for research and got to hold seventeenth-century hair lace bracelets and a tiny love-token game made of folded, painted vellum. The hair bracelets were bigger than I expected, about the size of a lace cuff on the end of a sleeve. I will now pay much closer attention to brown and golden lace cuffs in Renaissance portraiture: they could be hidden hair bracelets! Like the cuff in this recently cleaned portrait above of the young, rakish Donne, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. Doesn't it look like he's got a hair lace bracelet sitting on top of his plain white cuff? The love-token depicted beasts and mythological figures morphing into one another by means of opened and folded edges. I have no idea what I will do with it, but it is beautiful and seemed to ask me to write about it.

I made new friends at the summer archive, one of whom is now also a close friend and collaborator on a truly fun new project.

My friend the cinematographer convinced us to let him film a commercial for a natural housecleaning product in our bedroom and bathroom. The house was occupied by a film crew for 14 hours on a work/school night. We were very tired when they all left near midnight. But it was worth it: we were paid in free housecleaning services.

I planted 112 bulbs in various shades of purple, blue, and violet in the front yard. I am spooked by the fact that some of them are already coming up. The South is weird.

We finally threw a housewarming party on St. Lucy's Day.

I got bronchitis again, but it didn't last too long (only 3 weeks).

I got approved for tenure.

It has been a marvelous year, so full of challenges, delights, big and little risks, unexpected but welcome experiences (even those that felt Petrarchan), and warmth and I am sad to see it go.

I dare to you top this, 2015.