I glance quickly at the notebook that rests beside my laptop, opened to a page full of WORDS… communication, OLD, Experience, Confidence, CONNECTIVITY, owl, tactless, movies, ECCENTRIC, Earth… all scrawled down on the train trip home from Beacon, where, yesterday, we spent a belated Thanksgiving with Doves family...all these words are leaving me feeling somewhat baffled, so I’m going to sneak out and get to a yoga class… to commune with my body... and just hope that they’ll develop into sentences in my absence… a technique that has, ironically, been successful in the past — vague thoughts set in motion…
At some point after dinner last night, I started banging on about star signs and Doves mum pulled out “Earth Signs” - a book about the Native American zodiac. This will be my holiday reading. Its very similar to the astrology I’m familiar with, but relates to the natural world… more information, more exploration. Keenly I turned to the character summation for my sign — the Otter…. they note only 2 negative traits — rebelliousness and eccentricity. Shockingly these 2 elements I rather prize in myself… clearly I still have a lot of growing up to do. Elsewhere the word “tactless” is mentioned… but anyway… currently we are in the sign of the Owl.
November 23 to December 21
Element - Earth and fire
Stone/Mineral - Obsidian
Colors - Gold or black
Personality traits - Adventurous and independent
I saw this beautiful drawing in a cafe upstate in Red Hook, I thought it was an Owl... but it turns out it's an Osprey. We’d stopped to retreat from the cold at the "Enchanted Cafe”, where, amongst other things, they serve an irresistible vegan chocolate mousse. Evan, Conor and I were on our way back from 2 days of photo taking in a very, VERY, old home in Hudson. The house was extreme “period drama” of the “John Adams” variety… most impressive, yet it felt sort of “ghost town” empty. I imagined that once upon a time an entire extended family (or 2) lived there — a hive of upstairs, downstairs activity.
Sometimes I really long for that… a more immediate sense of community.
Millions of years ago, I studied english literature at Sydney University. The writer I most admired then was Virginia Woolf. She wrote a book called a “A room of one’s own”, the principle of which seems now a reality for many. But individual expression perhaps has come with the sacrifice of family and community… and yes — I'm in a very reflective mood…
I am thinking of a very amusing year or so in London in my late thirties when I moved into a house with 5 other people — it was like being a student again, taking turns to shop and make dinner… yet we had a washer/dryer and all came with a cleaner in tow…
The other night I was a very "last minute” substitute “ teacher for a friend who had the flu…. thankfully the topic was fashion photography where I have, at least, some experience…. I was able to natter on casually for quite a while about things I’d done, and would or wouldn't do again….. but when it came to critiquing the students projects, I experienced a sudden wave of fear… this was an entire new learning curve situation. It is so easy to be critical, but trying to merge honest WITH constructive criticism and strictly avoid being tactless IS A CHALLENGE.
Hudson was a hot bed of hot food treats [note… best breakfast EVER at Relish - down opposite the station] This onset of winter has totally sent my appetite into new dimensions and I find myself abandoning all sorts of long term dietary ideals for some shorter term satisfactions. Possibly I will regret this!… But I won’t ever regret downing these divinely slimming oysters from the new issue of Gather Journal… “Magic”.
Spicy Baked Oysters
4 Tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp Sriracha
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 anchovy, minced
12 large oysters, shucked, on the half shell
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together butter, Sriracha, zest, and anchovy. Place oysters on a rimmed baking sheet. If the oysters don't sit evenly you can nestle them in a bed of coarse salt. Divide butter mixture evenly among oysters.
- Bake until oysters are plump and the butter is sizzling, 8 to 10 minutes.