Posted by: gdevi | October 14, 2014

Perfect Afternoon

It is a beautiful (rainy) fall day here and I cannot believe my good luck that I was done with all of my work at 2pm right after the department meeting. This is my neurotic semester. My calendar looks like swiss cheese; every single minute of my days is spent either in classes or in meetings. I often feel like crying out to mother earth and father sky, open up, take me back! I have so much work it is not even worth mentioning it. I usually go to bed around 12:30 or 1 at night and I always wake up around 4 in the morning to work again. I have had very very very little sleep, and I am a person who likes to sleep. It is just a bad semester workloadwise.

Anyway, today I was done actually at 1:45pm. I ran away from my office before anyone could talk to me and came home. I have not been able to be home just by myself in a long long time. It is totally great. I made myself a wonderful smoked salmon sandwich on this great bread that I picked up at the grocery store last week; it is some sort of cheese bread. My daughter loves it. It is quite good. A slice of avocado would have been nice, but, oh well.  K is at work; D is at school; it is me and Daisy and Jesse. Ever since Sally died, Daisy has been my dog. I think she senses the absence around me; Sally was my dog. So Daisy is lying with me on my chaise. In fact, Daisy is lying on the chaise and has allowed me to claim a tiny part of it for myself. Thank you, Daisy; I really appreciate your generous spirit in sharing my chaise with me.  Now let us watch the squirrels together.  Smoked salmon sandwiches, grapes, hot coffee, dog, listening to old hindi songs, and a book. Food for the body and food for the mind. I am reading Banana Yoshimoto’s Kitchen until 5pm when I have to take Daisy to Dr. Livingston to get her broken nail looked at. I am so relieved that I could just sit here by myself. I am not on call, and nobody wants anything from me. I checked my calendar again to make sure that I am not supposed to be at any meeting on campus. No, I am not. Ah, heaven!


Since I had so much time this afternoon, I looked around and found this song that I had been longing to hear for a long time now. I had heard it years and years ago in some anthology somewhere in India, and I absolutely loved it. I mean I had heard it sung by folks like Joan Baez etc, but this one was like Mahalia Jackson; it has the spirit. Anyway, I only knew the voice and the song–didn’t know the artist’s name. So I patiently listened to version after version of the song, and voila! one of them was the one I had heard nearly thirty some years ago. Can you believe it? Can you believe my luck? I am so terribly pleased; I just love this song. Clara Ward has such a voice. I wish I had a voice like Clara Ward or Mahalia Jackson.

Clara Ward, 12 Gates to the City. If I teach Core Texts again, I must remember to play this for the class; the 12 gates to the city is an allusion to New Jerusalem in Revelations. I cannot hear the word New Jerusalem without thinking of Mahalia Jackson and How I got Over. Great great music. Oy. When I die, I want Mahalia Jackson’s How I Got Over played at my funeral along with Bob Dylan’s Lay Down Your Weary Tune. How I Got Over — that song describes exactly exactly precisely how I feel about my life.


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