I suspect the days in June were very rare for me indeed, as they seem to pass as if in slow motion. Too hot weather, too early at times, and then the perfect summer days that one wants never to end. And then there is the intensity of July! Is there enough iced-tea? Are the white shirts cool enough? Are the plants on the terrace getting enough water? July seems to ask a lot of us. Even getting to vacation locations has its imperatives.
And so I feel summer-logged. Perhaps it is something like being becalmed and hoping that a gentle wind will catch the sails and set you free. It isn't that I have not had "a good summer" so far. But basically, I am not a summer person. When fall comes, I feel like it is my season as it is quieter.
I have written about the incredible new book Keeping the Feast. I hope some of you have delved into it. Last weekend on a beautiful terrace I met the author, Paula Butturini. I am now rereading the book, seeing Paula on the pages as I had not before. There are people who must be born to take the hands of others and light the way. I think Paula is one of those. And maybe writing talent is given to those who truly have something to say. I would hope that all writers put this to the test.
Every once in awhile, there is a time that marks us forever. I remember being in Colette's garden in France on a rainy day in May and never have forgotten it. The meeting with Paula and her husband John Tagliabue reminds me of that occasion. That it was our wedding anniversary had special meaning, too. The hosts for Paula's book signing were former colleagues and friends of long standing and the aura of friendship was everywhere among the profusion of blue hydrangeas.
Paula is a spare woman with intense blue eyes. I had seen her picture, but I could not immediately pick her out of the crowd--a new hairstyle I think. She has a soft voice--one you can imagine reading a bedtime story to a child. But as she spoke and read from her book, there was a strength in the words I rarely get when author's read from their books.
Yesterday, I met Tricia Foley for lunch and then we went to Lincoln Center to see the production of War Horse. I can't remember the last time a production so engrossed me. The play, which originated at the National Theater in London, won the TONY for best play of the year--and I don't think anyone could disagree. I am not a theater critic, but the sight of these huge puppets manipulated at times by three and four people, was awesome. The story is about the horses that served in the First World War--some bought from farmers in England. One such horse was beloved by a lad who gets himself into battle to find him. It is based on a children's novel, so I am sure you can figure out the ending. I did find the aspects of war upsetting--but then they should be, shouldn't they? This is not a play where you leave the theater tapping your foot or humming. It is a story that stays in the veins.
Stay cool, wherever you are, in more ways than one.
Summer images from a recent photo shoot by Luciana Pampalone
War Horse image from http://www.warhorseonbroadway.com/