Friday, March 24, 2017

Wednesdays with Carol

A Date with Myself
Wednesdays will always be with Carol

I have been remiss of late in not publishing more frequent posts on Femme et Fleur. To offer a frank explanation, I have not been inspired to write because my world is now circumscribed by a need to stay close to home with my spouse because he needs my help. We no longer travel to my beloved France. Visiting with friends has been curtailed. We still do a lot. We go to museums. We dine out. We will once again go to Orient in August when Lazy Girl will make an appearance. But too often I must beg off seeing friends or hurry home.

So at the urging of my interventionists, my sisters, Susan and Jeanne, and my friends and with the encouragement of my step-daughter, Dianna, and her husband, Michael, I have decided to hire an aide to be with Richard one day a week. This will be my day off. We started this week when a lovely, professional woman named Camille came to be with him.

I will plan wonderful things to do. I will wander and flaneur. I will see friends. I may even sip an elegant cocktail or two. It will always be Wednesdays with Carol.

This week my Wednesday began with a visit to The Morgan Library to see an exhibit about the American poet, Emily Dickinson. When I was in high school I had a slim volume of her poems and brought it to Ms. Sheila Saferstein's English class to read aloud. Ms. Saferstein was a great teacher and quite a looker. She had short, dark hair swept back from her face, wore pencil skirts and heels and was thrilled to have a class full of smart-alecky first-trackers at North Shore High.

For our final exam, Ms. Saferstein gave each student a copy of the hardbound, cultural magazine, Horizon. My issue was devoted to Emily Dickinson so I wrote an essay based on her.
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts,
and except for one year which she spent at
Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in
South Hadley, Massachusetts, lived in
Amherst her entire life.
 The glass elevators in the Lorenzo Piano
atrium addition to The Morgan Library.
 The sun-filled cafe in the atrium.
My perfect afternoon tea.
Earl Grey.
Loved the deviled egg and sandwiches.
 Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 and died in 1885.
Particularly in her later life, she was
enigmatic. She dressed only in white and avoided people.
Her poems were enigmatic too.
Short, eccentric and sometimes
difficult to parse.
 She would hide behind doors. She did not visit others,
but sent letters instead.
She would send a bunch of flowers from
her garden.
She said that people might prefer a posy to a poem.
In her later years, Emily Dickinson created hand-sewn books 
of her poems that she had hand written.
These are called fascicles.
Her fascicles contained 800 poems.
 A portrait of Emily (left), her brother, Austin,
and sister, Lavinia.
 Only 12 of Emily's poems were published
during her lifetime.
Her entire oeuvre was 1,800 poems.
 Amherst College, founded by Emily's grandfather.
Her father was a trustee of the college.
 Emily loved flowers.
When she died her coffin was carried through 
a field of buttercups to the graveyard.
She was buried with vanilla-scented heliotrope,
a Lady's Slipper and a knot of blue field Violets.
 Emily had an herbarium of over 400 dried flowers.
This is one of Emily's more accessible poems,
which is perhaps why it was used as a title for the exhibit.
She was an intense poet of mystical proportions.
She was hardly a "Nobody".
When a friend named Thomas Wentworth Higginson
visited her he said,
"Without touching her she drew from me.
I am glad not to have lived near her."

À Bientôt!
Je vous verrai tous les mercredis.


  1. Lovely! And you will bring back your adventures to your dear husband with verve

  2. Taking care of ourselves is so very important, and enables us to take care of others. A beautiful, wonderful decision, Carol. May you enjoy every moment of every Wednesday - indulge yourself, spoil yourself and breathe in healthy freedom. Best wishes to you and your husband and family. Elizabeth.

    1. Dear Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your kind thoughts.

  3. Carol, so happy you are taking a day of your own...I think you will both benefit enormously...and also, having hurt my knee before my recent trip to San Miguel, and therefore being forced to engage in a much less active, more cerebral, personal and quiet trip (experience) I found it a remarkably, surprisingly, invigorating, and satisfying experience. Enjoy it all. xoxox

    1. Marsha,
      Thanks for your thoughts. We all find a way to make things good and fun.