June 26, 2006

An Artful Weekend

Friday evening began with dinner at my place. I served cheese tortellini in alfredo sauce, tomato and pesto cream cheese brochette, and cooked spinach, raisin, and pine nut salad. I also drank my wine a little too quickly as I was warm and thirsty from cooking. I ended up giving the remainder of my glass to John to finish. After dinner, while I was packing up my laundry, Noreen joined me in the bedroom to cool down and Melissa shortly followed. Soon John was there as well, bragging that he was sharing a bed with two women. “This is going in my journal!”

The Comedy of Errors performed by the Flatwater Shakespeare Festival was quite good. It was a small theater in the old carriage house at Wyuka Cemetery. The stage was in the center, an area open to the sky, with three aisles of seating on both sides. It was the first time I have seen a Shakespearean play close enough to read the actors’ faces. They were quite good. I realized the woman who lives in the apartment above me played the courtesan. I laughed until my face hurt. Afterward, I rode back to Omaha with my friends, who dropped me off at my parents’ house.

On Saturday, I convinced my parents to come down to the Summer Arts Festival in the Old Market. It was rainy and cool, which was much preferable to the classic hot and humid of a Nebraska summer. I saw many wonderful things. I find it easier now to appreciate beauty without the need to posses it than I did before I began Buddhist practice. The most tempting of all were paintings by a watercolor artist from Kansas City, Susan Lynn. My mother bought a print from her. I enjoy the vivid colors, the simplicity, and the elegance of her paintings. My mother particularly enjoyed the subject mater, stating “Now this is a ‘country’ I can understand!” On her website, I later found some work she had done in Brooklyn.

Later, my friend Marilyn picked me up at my parents’ house and we went to dinner in her lovely little BMW convertible. That is a fun car! We met Noreen, Melissa, and John at a new restaurant called O! The walls are painted a deep red. I enjoy anyone bold enough to use such a color. Black and white architectural prints hung on the wall, including one of a garden Buddha. There was a water wall behind the bar, making me hope no one was too susceptible to the power of suggestion. The entrĂ©e was nothing special. They did make a wonderful orange martini which I shared with Noreen. Also, the chocolate torte was fabulous and highly recommended! Life is short – never leave out dessert! We shared the single dessert amongst the table, as is our habit. After, we went back to Marilyn’s house and Noreen trimmed Marilyn’s hair while we all sat out on her deck with her dog, Max.

I miss Marilyn sometimes because she can’t come to all the fun things we do. She has cancer, peritoneal meisothielioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure. While she is not on chemotherapy this summer, the tumors in her abdomen are painful and restrict her breathing. When she talks of dying, our friends give the standard optimistic reassurances. I don’t, knowing that she needs someone with whom she can talk strait, someone other than her doctor. We’ve talked about hospice arrangements, funeral arrangements, and how her kids (17, 19, & 21) are handling it. It is a hard thing to accept, but my practice has taught me that life is transitory and all things change. Marilyn handles it well and I only hope I can be as level headed when my time comes.

On Sunday, my parents took me back to Lincoln. We did some antiquing along the way. I found a very interesting set of green and gold china for a reasonable price, which I left. There was also a wonderful chest of drawers with drawers perfectly suited for quilt squares or scrap booking paper. It was also a good price, but again, it remained behind for some other lucky person to find. I have a feeling it will not be there long.

The weather has been cool, with rain and thunder off and on, and a nice breeze from the north. My apartment has cooled down nicely since Friday and I finally turned my air conditioning off last night. My cat, Isis, missed me and I missed her. I washed to dishes left from Friday and read my book, Wolf’s Head Wolf’s Heart by Jane Linskold. I thought much about the painting I saw at the art festival. I shall have to try some paintings of my own soon. I have been neglecting them lately, but now I find myself with time.

Now I have a new inspiration.

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