Friday, November 6, 2009


I figured you would be wondering where I was in the Clemente book you bought for me, so I told you. I would have read and looked through it all in a one night marathon of goodness, but I wanted to savor this one. Other art books could easily be visited for two hours or less and feel replenished. Dab the napkin on the lips, move on. But Clemente is a full course meal. I tried one more time reading the heavy book in bed and it wasn't as cold last night, and I found a way to adjust the turn of the pages with a rhythm between myself and the quilts. Isn't everything a negotiation? A rhythm? Even taking the stairs in your office between the 18th and 19th floors, or 18th to the 17th, and it all has a rhythm. So what if it is a mere one floor apart either way — neither way would be the same. Perhaps a different shade of paint to the walls, a little crumpled paper in one corner, even the scuff of the steps is different between floors. I can understand why you would take the stairs between one floor, but otherwise you wisely choose the elevator. With everyone else.

I want to think of you in that elevator. The finest elevator Sweetheart and I were ever in was a posh hotel in Los Angeles when we were just off four days on the cattle train from the east coast and we were picking up a rental car and it was at this hotel. Sunday morning, still a sleepy hour. We didn't need to take the glass elevator on the outside of the building gliding up and then back down, but how to resist? So we didn't. We rode. This gave Sweetheart a splendid view of the city where she was raised.

Bob Arnold used to like watching Roberto Clemente as a boy, but this isn’t about that great player, and he usually avoids elevators and takes the stairs.

image: Francesco Clemente, Map of What Is Effortless