A picture frame is done being painted red

Second coat on the frame.

Cold this morning, and I was lazy, so Rosie and I didn’t get out to our walk until just after 7:00. She doesn’t like the interruption of her routine, and she was pouty and touchy all morning.

We fetched the car, and what a difference the tires make!

One thing that I’ve noticed in the narratives, for the most part. They end up being journal entries like “I did this…” while I think that much of the strength of Bernadette Mayer’s prose comes from its internal properties. It isn’t so much “about” doing as about an internal perception or an impression, as I guess a memory work would. Part of that comes from her fleeting prose—impressionistic, incomplete in some sense, or at least not strictly bound by a grammatical structure that is conventional, certainly not stiffly academic.

Bernadette has the license that poetry bestows. I don’t feel comfortable without the guardrails of grammar and prose structure. Maybe I should loosen up a bit. It’s something to think about when I return to this pile of words. There is a smidgeon of poet in me, at least an illusion and self-deception of it. Perhaps I should indulge that a bit. After all, I’m retired.

The quotidian quality of my journal entries tells and maybe even shows happenings, and I think that when I return to dissect them, I’ll see waves and patterns. At least I hope so. I can already think of a couple. But the matter of how the method, with its photography and journal writing, changes or directs perception is worth exploring a bit, too. There is a discipline that a simple resolve imposes on how we perceive. Doing photography in the experiential desolation of pandemic isolation may reveal, too. What, exactly, I’m not sure. But I also think that the choice of a “transition” month was good–mine into retirement and, in some fashion, the nation’s in an inauguration of a new president. Actually, it was lucky chance, since I didn’t think about the layerings of transitions that take place, but that might be worth exploring. The topic of transition is more current, perhaps, than I was expecting, too.

I sometimes wonder if everyone should press themselves to do a transition project like this, simply to attune themselves to what they have, what they lack, where they are, and what they think about it all.

On a completely different topic: we get these nice picture frames, by the way, but the trouble is they’re all black. I painted one yesterday a red-orange just to spice it up a bit, and I applied the second coat today. The frame is for a Ruth Orkin print that I thought was charming. She took it in Florence in 1951. Fits the car theme I’ve been obsessing about for a while. And the color of the frame is appropriately Italian red car color.

Beautiful full moon tonight and Orion is up high chasing the Seven Sisters, as usual. Winter skies, when it’s clear, are dramatic and nice. I think that is in part because the thick canopy of summer leaves is gone, and the heavens can show their drama. Rosie was happy on her night walk. Me, too, despite the cold.

 Arlene got a bottle of wine from the Beckman Vineyards from a friend at the barn. It’s pretty good. Enough that I’m intrigued, and I’m not that much of a wine drinker. It’s a grenache, dry and more delicate than a heavier red variety. I can’t say that I’ve experienced a grenache before, though the grape name is familiar to me.

Chickens all snugged in, and the heater is on in the pump house. We’re okay for the night.