Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BOOK THREE (1) grilled fish, Leonard Cohen, decline

The daily wearing away of the cotton gusset in your panties, and their ever shrinking elastic, is not the only thing we have to consider. For even if a housewife lives long enough for her children to think of grilled fish as a treat instead of gagging material, we must still take into account whether or not she will continue to retain her capacity for speaking without rancour at childless friends who look tremendously rested, and are just back from France.

Alarming as it may seem, the onset of dowdiness may involve no sudden arrival of a bowling jacket on the coatrack, or mannish sneakers....it can sneak up on you in shoes with the wrong kind of heel and a Madame haircut. Therefore be advised: the ability to make full use of your lipstick collection, to assess correctly if the hemline is wrong, to judge if another glass of wine will help you sparkle or spill, or to make any other decisions that require a full brain, are already declining....!

We must press on, then, and be snappy about it; not simply because you're thinking about using moss as a creative centrepiece (dinner's not started yet!) but because every minute brings us nearer to arsenic hour (the pre-dinner tantrum zone)--when even our power to boil emergency frozen ravioli drains away like painted roses from washworn china.

(No painted roses, and not your average vintage china)

Therefore, after we detect what is making that smell in the fridge, let us consider Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem,and the inherent value of deterioration.

(Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.)

The crags and fissures of a cooling bread crust, or a cheesecake's teasing fault line invite inspection with a fork and knife; the "flaws" make you hungrier. Figs and olives are all more gorgeous for their various lines of stress due to ripeness. Pottery's imperfections and crazing are desirable. Similarly, the wrinkled, beloved hands of older relatives, and the uncommon faces and figures in those Dove ads reveal the consquences of time passing, yet simultaneously reward us by reminding us of its constant beauty.

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