Storms, returns, etc
Happy Sunday, my love. I’ve been acclimating this week and have given myself the gift of not having to post on social media. I’m so so so grateful for you and this space where I can catch up without having to document every moment.
In my defense, I’m in the last two weeks of finishing this album’s songs. My hair is permanently in a messy bun. The bags under my eyes could classify as states of their own.
I have one song out of twelve actually finished, which is more or less how I do every project. Deadlines work well for me. If history is any indicator, by June 15th we’ll have the finished bones of a very pretty and very ambitious album. Still, considering my current reality, typed updates are better than frazzled photos of me.
It has been lovely, though.
I visited my favorite fabric place of all time in New Jersey and reveled at the enormity of America.
I got to have breakfast with real live queen Sima (of Song for Sima) at Russ & Daughters.
And I’ve been giggling, because it seems we brought the Amsterdam weather back with us. We landed to 90 degrees. It was sweltering and delicious. A week later it is 44 degrees and pouring.
I’m writing this t-talk early because we’re about to go pick up José’s daughter / my step daughter and see her for the first time since January. I slept about three seconds last night because I was so excited.
I love that beautiful perfect kid with all of my heart. Being away from her and my family during our time in Amsterdam has been excruciating.
I know the choice we made was necessary for her well being and literal survival. But nothing really takes away the sting of being apart for this long. We FaceTime weekly. We got her into letters, writing her once or twice a week on beautiful colored paper. We send packages full of Dutch knickknacks to remind her that she is perfect and special and loved. Still, I’ve missed her. Missed hugging her and laughing with her and just hanging out with her.
At first I was bummed that the weather wasn’t in our favor for this first reunited day. Then I remembered that today I get to teach Anais one of my all time favorite joys in life: Rain is magic when you’re covered.
It’s a phenomenon people don’t give enough credit to. I know it intimately because I grew up in New York, home of the spectacularly-unpredictable-show-stopping-summer-storm.
If you’re not familiar, allow me to catch you up to what NY summer feels like.
All week you’re in smothering 90-100 degree heat. The humidity, the weatherperson tells you, is hovering at approximately 170,000 percent. Your body sweats in places you weren’t aware could sweat. You resent everyone on the street just a little bit/a lot a bit as you all once again become acquainted with what it feels like to live in an oven. Your hair turns into a tangled brillo pad. You want to leave the house. You don’t want to leave the house. You want to leave the house.
Then, if you’re lucky, you see a rain cloud on the forecast.
I say “lucky” knowing it’s not a feeling many share. Nevertheless, I truly do get excited every time I see that little rain cloud, because my memories of rain harken back to the porch of my parents’ home.
On that porch, we enjoyed these storms for the shows they are. I remember, deeply, the feeling of experiencing weather. It solidified what would become a real love for moments when something else (read: not me) is in charge.
And if you are indeed from the east coast, you know: Nature is in charge, and this is her show. We’d go outside, sit on the stones and be her audience. Lightning and thunder were the main attractors at this show, sure. But sheltered by those wooden beams above us, we were also treated to a panoply of senses. We could hear the rain, feel the rain, see the rain, smell the rain. We were enveloped in it.
The 90 degree hellscape would turn into a beautiful summer moment, eventually. If we paid enough attention, we could feel the subtlety of the heat breaking. The next day everything would be bearable and fresh.
I tried to find a photo this since I’m at their home now, but came up empty. I did, however, find this photo of me which more or less exemplifies the feeling every time I see rain still.
It’s not 90 degrees today, but I still plan on giving Anais as close to that smile as I can. Maybe we make smores on the stove. We’ll sit on the porch under blankets and enjoy the show together.
I can’t wait to gift her that feeling of being safe and covered amidst chaos. Finding magic in what other people see as a problem. It is priceless. I’ll feel it today with my bobi on the porch, and I felt it often this week through vaccination.
I thought I would weep when we got vaccinated. I did get a bit misty watching José get it, but more than anything I just felt a general relief.
All week since I’ve been safe after a year of torrential rain.
I went, for example, to see my Savta for the first time in over a year. We had plans to see each other the next day, but I figured it would be more fun to surprise her. You may have seen this glory on socials already (observe, for example, her hanging up the cordless phone and jumping a happy dance), but it’s worth watching again.
I let that porch cover me and I hugged my Savta for the first time since January 2020. It felt just as good as I imagined it would. Though there isn’t enough money on earth you could paid me to do 2020/2021 again, I am grateful for the powerful and unique feeling of relief I experienced in that embrace.
Things are changing. Magic is coming back, tentatively. I can’t wait to be at real shows with you soon, but for now, we’ll enjoy the one outside.
See you next week.
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