June 2nd, 2009: Sitting at my desk this morning, I realized that I needed a serious treat. Easily done! That would mean going to lunch at Boulette’s Larder, my favorite place to savor interesting food. I wanted to catch up with Lori and Amaryll who run Boulette’s; I had talked with them during the intermission of Mark Morris Dance Group’s Sunday performance of L’Allegro. Such a treat to see both of these accomplished women in a totally different context. They are both so friendly and gracious. I consider Amaryll a highly accomplished chef. She has done far more to educate my palate at this time in my life than anyone else, and I am grateful.
It turned out to be a wise decision. I had a chilled avocado and cucumber soup with the freshest hand-patted tortillas with thin crispy outsides and soft centers of heated corn. Then, poached salmon that was light and custardy, almost like a mousseline. Although I had no room for dessert, Taquin my waitperson brought a tasting of lemon verbena ice cream with strawberries. Yummmmmmm!
Then a quick check-in with Amaryll. We compared notes about what moved us during the dance performance; both of us were thrilled by the use of scrims early on to create layers of dancers on stage, and then a static period close to the end when the entire company was motionless, looking up to the back of the stage, enraptured by full-throttle organ music. No dancers moved, and yet the action was expansive and profound.
This evening I talked with my Dad about my cancer. Fortunately, my sister had spoken with him recently, giving him news about the tumors’ growth. His ability to grasp my condition ebbed and clarified and ebbed again. He kept asking what he could do. I said, “Love me.” He assured me that he did. Many tears. I hope to go up to see him in July as well as saying goodbye to the other people I know in Portland. That will probably be the last time I see my Dad and many of the people I grew up with and went to school with. It’s a trip I really want to make.
As for the China trip, I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that. I would probably go in September or October and that’s a long way off. Yesterday morning as I woke up I was musing about how I want to see China before I die, and I realized that I might have another option. This strange, pleasant and very forceful concentration on being in China that has been surging from my very center may, in fact, be a yearning that focuses on that country as the place where I am born next. I feel so drawn to China and there are many things that I’ve learned in this life that could be useful there. Also, I know from past experience that there is much that China has to teach me. We’ll see. And who knows about the time factor; will I be born into the future or the past? So much to learn, and I do enjoy the speculation.