Today’s subject line is from James Wright’s “Yes, But,” which is mentioned in Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life as the one she read at her father’s memorial service. She writes that her father “would have loved the fact that this poem allowed me to say ‘making love’ — while wearing fishnets, I should add, an edgy touch he would have also applauded — before a priest, a bishop, a rabbi, and an overflow crowd of 550 people in an Episcopal church in Bible-belted Oklahoma City.”
The poem, and more about her father, are in this 2004 post at her blog, Orangette.
I picked up the book on remainder earlier this year, on impulse. I took it to bed with me last night (having slipped on a step fourteen hours earlier and landed on it hard, I was feeling too achy to think and too sore to sleep) and it was just right — it includes a fair bit about Paris, and a powerful chapter about her father’s last days, and a cast of opinionated food-lovers that include a vegetarian composer and a Seattle menage-à-trois: “Jimmy is the baker, John is the cook, and Rebecca is the force of nature.” MW continues:
“Moll, you need two husbands,” Rebecca announced, stirring a snowdrift of sugar into her iced tea. “You can’t expect one person to be everything for you. You need at least two. At least.” I nodded. She had a point. I have thought about it many times since, and I don’t know that I entirely agree — so far, one husband is almost more than enough for me — but she did have a very good point. But that morning, the scent of melted butter was rising from the stove, and talk of husbands, singular or plural, had nothing on it.
The book also devotes pages 216-17 to “radishes and butter with fleur de sel,” MW having reminisced two pages earlier about visiting her boyfriend on West 123rd Street in NYC and how “sometimes we would wake up late and walk to get a jug of orange juice, a bunch of radishes, a baguette, and some butter. Back at home, we ate lazily at the wobbly table with the window open, the box fan blowing, and my bare feet on his lap.”
Reading this took me back to the last time I’d eaten radishes — which was indeed with toast and butter and salt, over at Holland House, with three dear friends — and it made me wish there were radishes in the house. And I went shopping earlier today, so now there are. What marvelous times these are.