Saturday, January 21, 2006

birthday blessings

Today is my birthday. Since our car has broken down and, it seems, will cost €2000 to repair, and since J’s well earned euphoria at finally coming up for air has consequently plummeted into the dark night, and since the plans we had have been abandoned (no car, no money)….I am going to gather three things in my Lyon hotel room which, though they are not happening today and are not directly related to my birthday, are nonetheless a private thanksgiving for my life and therefore, obviously, my birth-day.

1. Lunch in Lyon.

As I sat in the pretty primrose Maison Villemanzy in the crook of blue louvred shutters eating a tender steak tartare (sans ses sautéd pommes de terre mais avec son mesclun) I looked around me at the contented murmer of a French bistro at the midday hour, which was just as it should be: A couple of arty blokes, scruffy grey portfolios resting against their chair legs, pony tails waggling as they giggled; two ladies lunching on fish, with the obligatory layered hair (about as obligatory here as the ‘Jambes Lourdes’ and yes, even I’ve succumbed!), lime green clutch bags and foxy boots; Three businessmen on the Montignac diet (big meat, no starch and many pichets of wine), their contracts spread over place number four and waiting patiently till after lunch for signatures; A retired husband and wife in blue cap, fur rimmed hat and good shoes; a single woman scribbling in a notebook, Zadie Smith’s novel ‘On Beauty’ on her side-plate, and her ski slope nose lone amongst the romans…..Everyone drinking.

I caught the dream as it floated past.

2. Working with M on Recitative.

“First there is the thought, then the word, then the action….maybe one day there is the song….”

It is stuffy in the ‘Subsistences de Lyon’ and the acoustic is furry. The story is that of the very first murder; of Cain and Abel, and the heavenly (and indeed often hellish) music is by Alessandro Scarlatti. I am underlining the word ‘vendetta’ with a raw punch of the forearm in preparation for Cain’s aria, then sighing horsehair across gut to support the word ‘sospiro’.

“No, this is a semi colon, not a comma, nor a full stop. Take it through, lead us to the next thing, don’t let us down yet, we want to know….yes, draw the text out of Abel…..”

Text, sound, and movement. These are three of my favourite things.

3. Last weekend…..

….and I’m sure, once I arrive home tonight for my mini B-weekend, all will be well. It will at least, if I let go of my attachment to what it was going to be, be what it will be and that, in this wonderful life of mine, is enough.


Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Happy Birthday Ruth! Great blessings, well counted. Yes, all will be well. Enjoy!

11:01 AM  
Blogger ezappy said...

Happy Birthday Ruth . . . love from Steve

1:50 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Happy birthday, Ruth! May your new year bring much health, contentment, love, and kind adventure.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Perhaps belated, but a very Happy Birthday to you! May it be a year of soaring creativity, love, joy...

5:33 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

happy birthday!! very cool to be in fine company with another january-born writer (my birthday was the 18th). i enjoy your writing so much. wish i could see you on tv... not sure whether i get bbc here, but i'm certainly going to look for it. cheers!

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Happy Birthday to you, Ruth and best wishes for a fab year ahead.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

Happy Birthday!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Peter (the other) said...

It was your birthday, but we got the gift. Thank you for all of your writing, and photos. I am sorry about the car. They have a way of being the surprise attack on the wallet.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous mig said...

Happy birthday, Ruth, from all of us. Sorry to hear about the car.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Sorry I'm late, but - Happy Birthday!

1:57 PM  

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