Day 8: Letter to a friend Today I am most blue, missing my beloveds at home. I am following the wave of the feeling, watching it swell and spend and rise again: surfing. The thing about space alone is that it offers the opportunity for emptying out. This is not something you and I ever discussed, when you encouraged me toward this writing retreat. There's no good reason for such melancholy. If feelings need reasons--and you always claimed that feelings trump reason. I spent a sweet afternoon at the birthday brunch for my friend Lynn, enjoying her gourmet cooking and meeting her friends: Valerie, the documentary maker and her husband Bernard; Barbara, who will be my neighbor in August; Clara, the singer with the face of a Botticelli goddess; and Sheila, the osteopath, great-grand-daughter of a Hungarian count (the one, in fact, who saved wine!); a few others. Lovely folks, all, fun to connect with. Naturally I made an email introduction between Sheila and our very own Wayward Austrian Countess. Consider it a nod to the Austro-Hungarian empire. They probably have cousins in common, a century ago. They probably have cousins in common now. The only people who interbreed as much as the old aristocracy are my cousins, the hill-billies. I did once tell you that there was a whole town in Arkansas where everyone is either my first cousin, second cousin, or third cousin, or all three at once, didn't I? When I returned, as I was unlocking my door, Mme Durand cracked hers and watched me enter my apartment. I waved but she said nothing. She was just closing her door when I stomped over and stuck my foot in. "Madame Durand, I have to know. Is that a Cezanne?" I inquired. I wedged my shoulder in her door to open it enough so I could point. She smiled. "Meet Francois tomorrow and he'll tell you." Then she shoved her door shut, pinching my arm to get me to retract it. Sure enough, another note lay folded on my floor. "Shakespeare & Co, 1:00 pm tomorrow. Francois." I supposed it won't hurt to check their history of Paris section anyway. Jean-Sven and a boisterous crew trooped down just as I was getting ready to do yoga. At some point, I have enough of surfing and emptying out: Basta! I opt for a sweaty hour of yoga, which inevitably elevates me while also evening me into peacefulness. There's nothing like surya namaskar, pigeon, and urdva dhanurasana to lift one's spirits. There would be far less need for psychopharmaceuticals if more people practiced yoga on a daily basis. I promised Jean-Sven to meet them at the club for the concert, which is not until late anyway. I would like to hear Angelique, and to support her. So, yoga and poulet roti finished--a fresh slick of lipstick and I'm on my way. Til tomorrow, then, and as always, your devoted, warmly, etc.