1) Debussy. Man, “Clare de lune” is a really good song. Give it a chance. I played it growing up, but I re-heard it months ago in a yoga class, and I don’ know if my pores were just extra open that morning, but “Clare de Lune” struck me as extraordinarily delicate and moody, but not in a dark way. More like when you’re in a contemplative mood, and enjoying it, and you don’t want to talk to the outside world, or your mood would change. This is the music that would go inside that bubble, and it’s definitely a song you’d play in the morning. Terrence McNally wrote a whole play with the song in it, so there, I’m not the only one.
2) Eyeglasses. I wore contact lenses for many years, so I couldn’t fully appreciate eye glasses, particularly because the designs were so awful when I was growing up, but are these not a cool invention? I mean, you’re near-sighted, and someone thinks of strapping some corrective glass on your face so you can see? Very clever, humans.
3) Bicycles. I associate bicycles with very deep relaxing, or at least with bike rides I prefer, which is on a car-less road in nature with a granny bike with a basket. I don’t know how I arrived to this point of view. When I was younger, I regularly wiped out head over handlebars on most of my bike rides. (These were unforced wipeouts; I think I just was good at psyching myself out). But a few years ago, at my cousin’s wedding in a small beach town in Delaware, we could use the bikes outside the rented houses, and I hopped on one and took off by myself and it was the closest I’ve come to deep meditation.
4) Abraham Lincoln. I have really become obsessed with Abraham Lincoln. When Baby was in utero, there were several Halloween costume ideas floating around in my gigantic noggin, and one was Abe Lincoln, which is why I ended up doing. Gettysburg Address? Emancipation Proclamation? That’s good stuff, man. I blame Maira Kalman. She did that cool series on democracy in the Times, and did a photo/art essay on how she started to fall in love with Lincoln.
5) Maira Kalman. Like I just said in number 4, this woman has been doing photo essay series, one for the Times on democracy, which is now a book. I love her use of color and the loose feel of her paintings. Like when I look at them, I think about whether she drew first and then painted, or used the paint to structure what she was seeing. (I think the latter, which is such a foreign way to work to me. Like it reminds me when Husband advised my Shakespeare monologue prep to not just memorize the words, but do commit so thoroughly to the character that the words would just come organically. Wow, that boggled my mind.) I like that she chooses to paint things like dead presidents, but also like her lunch from the cafeteria or a dilapidated couch. She makes me want to dust of my ancient water colors and try my hand it. I want to sketch our home (the studio apartment that looks like it threw up on itself) so we can remember later (uh, unless we never move out?)