joyeux, joyeux, joyeux…

December 25, 2010

it’s summer here. The sky is cloudless and warmly blue, the trees are pale and bright, the cracked tiles are hot to touch. It feels nary a thing like Christmas. My screen is snowing. This feels- wrong.

I’ve been too long in the North for this thin country, where Christmas equals a burst of red pohutakawa flowers, jandals, beaches and barbecued sausages that have split their skins. The spirit is unwilling. The flesh is wea- well, the flesh is suffering from the post-Christmas-lunch food coma.

I am stuffed like a very sad pig with roasted pork. Crushed garlic and rosemary and sage and cumin, fresh-mortared sea-salt and peppercorns, rolling and crackling under my pestle, splitting and scratching on the raw meat as I spread it over. Kumara. Onions and carrots and pumpkin and potatoes, gone cold in the white trench. Salad. Feta cheese, salt on the tongue. Fresh avocado and cherry tomatoes. The pale watery crispness of cucumbers. And then pavlova. Blueberries, a hundred small round balls in my hands. Strawberries. Lemon zest, sticking to my fingers. And ambrosia. New Zealand, you are a land of bountiful fresh things.


We drank Chinese tea. Anything else would have killed us with the sweetness.


Christmas. Christmas. God! Jesus. Merry? Well.

I need to think about it. Write about it. Mull it over in the sun, on the grass, with the cat.

But bed first. Thank you God for bed, for the food, for days like this, stuffed and replete as I am, barely able to think through my sentences before they string themselves together, apples and daisies on a line with string cheese. Wrapped in time. Tuck me in and let me fall asleep, and tomorrow (when I wake, when I wake in the afternoon, in the evening, before the sun sets so- slow –  in  –   this   –     deep    –    land     – ) we will talk. Give me grace, and give me time.


(all my love.)

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