a filling of a soul


I’m back home–we made it back home in time for Yom Kippur (and of course the Murakami reading this weekend). Rarely do I feel reluctant to return home from a trip or vacation, but this time, with all the dreary world economy news…I met the end of my vacation with a bit of a sigh.

We saw our beloved London…and made a quick jaunt over to Paris and back (L’as du Falafel and Pierre Herme macaron!)…then back to London (the Mark Rothko show at the Tate Modern! Borough Market! I met fishlamp irl at our favorite London martini place)…then off to Edinburgh for the day on Sunday (beautiful Princes Street Garden! Edinburgh Castle! Gorgeous weather! We spent a good hour sitting on a park bench and daydreaming! Then, food poisoning from which I have yet to fully recover)…and back to London, where I spent a couple of lackadaisical afternoons on an old college friend’s couch with a cup of tea in Balham).

I didn’t write. My schedule was too irregular to allow any sort of discipline to seep through. Some days I gorged and had three solid meals…other days, I found I’d had only a slice of bread and a bit of cheese to see me through. Some days we woke up before dawn to make a flight or catch a train, other days I slept until noon. And there were a couple days I napped, waking in darkness, feeling a confused and deep loneliness, as one can only feel when waking up in a dark and unfamiliar room. Most days, I had the day all to myself (when my husband had work obligations), and on the weekend, we strolled around in a new city, hand in hand.

Some days I had appointments to keep, like the Rothko show at the Tate Modern (1pm on Saturday)–other days, I woke up to a blank slate of a day. The Rothko show was moving–his Seagram murals filled me with a great terror and great sadness paired with deep beauty. They looked like wrist slash marks (my husband said they resembled safety razors) and I pondered my own struggle with depression in younger days, contemplated the scars on my wrists, remembered the agony. I identify strongly with Rothko’s work, even while they make me feel like I’m sinking. And then I walked quickly through the exhibit–I couldn’t bear to gaze at his work any longer.

I let it all sink in.

Who was it? A famous artist said that in order to produce art, one had to be full of himself. And so I let myself be filled.

And then today, I fasted, pondering the year in retrospect (warning to self: it is particularly grueling to fast the day after a long plane flight and after food poisoning). It was a great holiday, a filling and then a cleansing.

And now a year begins.


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