Spoke to my artist friend "Clara" tonight. We were childhood friends back in Shaker Heights. I'd emailed her about the death of June Biskind, who lived next door to our family, The Greenwolds.
In later life, June moved to Arizona so she could be close to her husband John Biskind, MD, when he went to prison. I left a comment on her obit notice.
John Biskind's dad was a noted ob/gyn. Read about his life here.
Our family moved from Cleveland in about 1965. I was at Goddard College in VT, sowing my wild oats.
See the cyclamen on the table? Wrote three poems this morning and submitted them to Jellyfish Whispers, a nature-themed journal. Had a heckuva time thinking of the last lines of my poem, The Miracle of the Cyclamen.
Today I finally got out of my PJs and went to - YOU know the answer - the Giant Supermarket.
Took my lunch upstairs and ate in the lobby while chatting with Robin Franklin. The cafe, with its new beer garden, is dimly lit and oh so dreary. The window is gone, replaced by a wall of beer.
My sister Ellen sent the following email about Mom to concerned family members:
Thank you very much for your concern. The good news is that today her physical therapist and her were able to walk up the steps from the family room into the kitchen. She sat at the kitchen table for a little and I helped the therapist to get her back downstairs into the family room.
On Monday when the therapist comes again she said (as per my suggestion) that she thinks my mom could go all the way up to her bedroom and stay there instead of the family room. My mom said she’d like that. In the event that she’s unable to get in and out of her bed in her bedroom, she’ll go back downstairs and I WILL get her a tv. I know she’s missed such great shows over the past month, but she really says that she didn’t mind. However, I know she’ll love the tv again.
Spoke to Mom tonite, while riding me bike, to congratulate her on her progress. Told her what I made for dinner.
Sauteed everybody in butter. Seasoned with pepper and red wine.
Oh, said she, more liquid.
That woman is sharp!!!
Her mom, Gramma Lily, developed dementia at age 84.
I did share with Mom and Ellen about "Clara" who lived near us in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Clara told me she's having terrible memory problems, the start of dementia. She's 69.
As we spoke she took her nightly medication.
She's taking 2 mg of Klonopin.
Hold on, Clara, I said. I'm certain Klonopin causes memory loss. Looked it up and there it was... spelled right out.
You've gotta wean off, I told her.
She told me my cousin Mark, an artist, was recently in the newspaper.
Read this interview about him here.
He makes reference to painters he likes such as Mark Rothko
I've told you before that when I lived in Houston I visited the Rothko Chapel. I went at lunch hour with my buddy Jackie Smith, a drunkard by night, who laughed when we entered the chapel.
Look what I just found online. Experts duped by fake Rothko. Should be fun to read.
One of Mark's fave paintings is Comtesse d'Haussonville by Ingres.
And here's anudder one of his faves
Piero della Francesca’s “Flagellation of Christ
Looks like a triptych, which Mark says his own paintings are.
Mark loves the writing of art critic Clement Greenberg.
When I was growing up in Cleveland, Mark and I were great friends. He introduced me to a world of culture I never dreamed of.
Now, from afar, I am still learning from him.
Found these dried peaches (la peche en francais) at the Giant. Challenged myself - you daredevil you! - to eat them in a different bowl.
THE MIRACLE OF THE CYCLAMEN
You, darling, whose name I can never remember,
you, darling, whose green heart-shaped
leaves are every bit as
lovely as your upturned faces,
Your species, like ours, has drifted from
the Mediterranean over the Atlantic
to be sold for a pittance at the grocery store.
I buy you as a gift for others. As I was
leaving the store, you called out from your
table. I heard you as I approached my car.
You reside now with me.
At home you delight me in the kitchen as
I sip my coffee, your dappled blossoms
a satiny blend of purples – I love you
with my eyes, with the gentle water
I pour over you, and touching your
queenly faces, cold to the touch
these wintry morns.
If all goes well, you tubers should
live a long while. Mayhap till the end of
This is why you greet me first
thing every morning. Beauty,
like God, has a way of reaching
our inner spirit we’re unaware of
and floating us onward
‘til the end of our days.