So: exactly one long month after my last substantive (from my point of view) post, interrupted by only one jeu d'esprit about coffee... I keep thinking of the blog, of all the many large and subtle shifts that have taken place in that month, and keep feeling rather guilty for not writing about them... but then they were happening and I was too involved in them, or I was busy otherwise, or... I didn't quite know what to say about them.
So, just to bring us up to date: a list of points.
1 – Michael read the 'Smart guys' post, much of which was about him. This was neither embarrassing nor problematic, because we've both certainly been around the block – actually around and around and around the block – and aren't overly concerned about such things; and of course as he's a dancer he's accustomed to people having Passionate Attachments for him.
2 – And he was evidently pleased. He took the train down from Edinburgh the following weekend, put his suitcase down, sat on the couch, pointed out he'd read my blog, and said: So I think we should do something about this. And kissed me.
3 – We proceeded to spend the following three weekends together, two here, then one in Edinburgh; then he went to Paris to start his doctoral studies, where he is now. Wonderful, heartening, many good things. I've had only occasional flashes of wondering where this could lead and whether I am really all that interesting for him, but that's just knee-jerk negative narcissism speaking.
4 – I will visit him in Paris, perhaps in a few weeks or so when he has his own place.
5 – Good lectures – even, if I may say so, very good lectures, with excellent responses, smart students who are interested in the materials. Much of my nervousness about being allowed to teach this course in cultural theory and music, which I haven't been able to teach for five years, has evaporated, as I've remembered that I know what I'm doing and I enjoy it.
6 – Various films, artworks, performances. Perhaps most interesting at the moment is Jacques Roubaud's Great Fire of London (which should really be called Destruction – because The Great Fire of London is properly the title for the entire series of six books of which only five are published and two translated into English). The first volume: such a calm, eerie, grieving, thinking voice, pulling you into such a hyper-aware space, filled with subtle literary moves and even clouds of mathematics – it is what he is writing instead of the great project he had planned; it is what he is writing out of the tragic death of his wife; it is his attempt to shore up existence.... I'm just starting to get into it but might say more as it goes along.
7 – I love Great Monumental Series in modern literature – Proust, Joyce, Musil, even people like Thirkwell... this might be just what I want to read.
8 – My recuperative body chemistry after the stroke seems to be settling down to something more normal. About two weeks ago, at the end of Michael's second visit, was the last time I can remember getting upset and worried over nothing. Sent long detailed message explaining medical status to family, which involved good news, though it was couched in somewhat technical terms.
9 – Much good fortune and good work among my students. A sense of the universe supporting people and their work, which would certainly be a nice change. Annie even got a fabulous scholarship for the next three years....
10 – It's late now. After excellent dinner at Liza and Daryl's – brilliant composer and brilliant conductor, with their houseguest student and son – followed by long, rather chilly train ride home – it is a blessing to lie on the couch in the warm flat. Bed soon.
11 – But before bed, answered an e-mail from Michael....