Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Turning Leaf

          It's a Wednesday - standing couch time appointment.  I'm planning on making it - on time - and won't he be surprised.  Yup.  Another 'new leaf' abornin'.  Truth be told, I've sworn off those 'new leaves'.  One never honors them;  they even tend to create an unpleasant, subtle kind of pressure.  (What if I regress?  Go back to being an 'old leaf'?  What then?  Would it be a symptom of the dreaded "empty promise syndrome"?  Will I be justly shunned - even by me?)
       Perish the thought.  Rather, as I plagiarize with impunity - and a stemless glass - from a wine bottle label, I (drum roll, or egg roll - your call) introduce you to my new 'MO', "Turning Leaf".  I'm excited and a bit relieved.  I mean, all those abandoned 'new leaves' - as a recent TV commercial notes - aren't going to rake themselves.  Consequently, I'll have far more energy and be infinitely more tidy emotionally if I simply use one 'turning leaf' whenever I'm moved to change or improve this business of living.
       By way of example, today, my leaf turns on punctuality.  It feels like it was only yesterday that I was chronically late.  Indeed it was yesterday that tardiness was embedded in my moniker - "The Late Lorane Leavy" the naysayers would spout.  Well, they'll have to find a new tree on which to lift their leg.  Mine, sprouting turning leaves at all stages of gestation, will no longer provide a 'hit-able' target.
       Having split a personality or two at the appointed time - and basking in my mind-mender's approval, "Here, here" - I shall proceed with efficiency to execute my list of chores/errands smugly aware of the lack of any interruption of planned activity that can thwart the effervescence I'll be enjoying after my first successful leaf-turning.
       Why, you may be asking, does she persistently impose this tripe on us?  I would submit, "I love writing."  And apparently you must love reading.  In that writing of necessity is largely autobiographical, I share, give what I know, what I've learned, what I've felt and why.
       (I must digress.  And it's relevant.  My husband and I saw the film "Genius" this past weekend.  It beautifully and accurately presents a long chapter in the life of noted Scribner's editor, Max Perkins.   The selected part of his brilliant career deals with his discovery and nurturing of Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and - largely - Thomas Wolfe, contemporaries all.
       Having read and studied the literature and authors of the late twenties and early thirties throughout my life, I was no stranger to the characterization of Mr. Perkins' effect on these artists and their work.  I was moved, therefore, to purchase the book from which the screenplay emerged after my appointment.  It didn't emerge after my appointment.  Rather, I went to Barnes and Noble after my appointment where the establishment's manager and I spent a delightful part of the afternoon discussing - and locating a copy of - the book.
       My only criticism of the film - which I highly recommend - was the absence of stress on the physical size of Thomas Wolfe.  I had read in several sources that it was his habit to use the refrigerator as a 'desk', scribbling a word or eighty on a page which he'd then send floating to the floor.  It was given to dear, dogged Max to climb four or five flights of dark, musty, steel-tipped stairwells to reach Wolfe's apartment, collect the uncollated mountain of strewn, cluttered paper, cart it back to Scribner's and spend an uncanny amount of time - motivated by a deep admiration for the writer's talent - so that, ultimately, we could have "Look Homeward, Angel".
       I lived in a five story walk-up in Brooklyn from birth to ten and have vivid - actually happy - memories of riding, knees crouched up to chin, in the "dumbwaiter" which was just outside our door and had cable-sized ropes with which you  could lower yourself - although it was intended for lowering trash - to the basement.  Quite fun, actually.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wolfe's digs lacked this "extra" and dear Max had to use the shoe leather express to reach his treasure.
       In the movie Genius, there are two scenes showing Wolfe hard at work, writing atop the fridge.  Unfortunately, both the appliance and the actor are of average height, leaving the viewer to surmise the choice of 'desk' was just another quirk in the artist's personality.  I'll read the book and let you know whether the lack of emphasis on Wolfe's height was a casting accommodation.)
       We were talking about writing and reading, I believe.  So, from soul through quill to heart and mind, your being is free to take and keep what it needs.  When you do, and it is a positive experience, we are connected.  My cathartic outpouring has joined us, rendered us members of this enormous and complicated but loving and supporting family.
       Perhaps, you, too, were thinking of turning a leaf but thought the notion odd.  Well, you needn't because you just found out that at some point everyone in the family does.
       Or maybe you were feeling the need for a good listener, someone who really hears your worries, shares your triumphs, understands and wants to allay your fears.  Seeking help is a good thing.  'Therapy' doesn't label you negatively.  Taken as directed, it makes you do your 'happy dance'.  Alternatively (and finally), you may have just wanted a glass of wine.  No harm.  No foul.  Good for the circulation, actually.  May I touch your bottom?
       But then I must be on my way.  Wouldn't want to be tardy.
Later, Lorane. . . .
      
      
Post a Comment