lights: candles, lamps, sun and friendship and most of all, kindness.

Firstly, and most importantly, someone very beautiful and precious in our extended family-of-choice is undergoing a double mastectomy on wednesday. Please spare a thought. We lit a candle and sat in contemplation just now.

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To be honest, it’s hard to know what else to say that doesn’t sound like frippery. So forgive us, just pictures today. To illustrate the beauty of light through sun, chandeliers, friendship, sharing strawberries and tea and conversation, lamplight, novel-reading-lightness by a fountain and soon, stars.

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We have no words left.

Wishing you the safety of angels, both corporeal and ethereal, dear one.

diagnosis: benign + one day: so what’s next? because nothing else can be the same again, Dorothy.

we once saw a very learned (say it out loud with one of those pompous Royal Shakespeare Company declamatory voices in two syllables – “lurrrrrn-ED” – doesn’t that sound delicious?) man who said:

well that’s it now. nothing can ever be the same again. you’re awake.

we can’t give you the exact provenance of the discussion – or the results (for Another Time) but we Do remember the shiver of anticipation at the idea of a new life “now we were awake”. it also took years to understand what he meant. but we get it now.

either illness has a meaning – and one can move to the next chapter.

or one is doomed to repeat the illness in various forms – more extreme each time – until one is swallowed up by the experience and crushed.

if you’ve been with us at all for a while, you’ll know that we Adore (yes, we Adore a Parcel) moving to the Next Chapter.

but before we do, we are going to HEAL.

we have seven days before returning (in what new spirit/physical/mental form we wonder) to the Day Job.

so for now, we’re going to build up our strength, slowly and surely each day (sadly we cannot swim for another two weeks and we are a bit of a Fish – as well as being a Pisces in RL) and walking and resting and taking the new prescription (the synthetic hormones they gave us to replace the thyroid and the glands – this will be fun – we Don’t Take Stuff – so the weirdness and tears and sudden-desire-to-buy-butch-aviator-glasses on alternate day feelings is Rather Amusing) and we’re now down to just 4 (still bloody horse pills but heigh ho) calcium pills a day. and the nausea is easing.

here’s some shots from yesterday the day of BENIGN. wasn’t it a LOVELY day?

thanks ever so much to jST for coming with us. and he had the prize for the best line of the day (which we’re sure you understand, we do like to compete for ;-) he was a tiny bit “over” some life-stuff that’s going on and we said (while keeping half an ear out for our RL name – we sometimes forget what it is – and it has changed over the years but that’s for another time too):

hey beautiful man, tell us what’s going on. what are you going to do now?

and he leaned back wearily in denim (he’s one of our V Fit Friends) and looked most impressive and said:

we’re booking a ticket to Vienna.

now Isn’t That Just Divine?!

and the thing about jST is that’s no idle threat. he will be in Vienna soon. Like us – he’s quite the world traveller/traveler/glam_nomad.

these are happy feet. they just found out that the rest of the body doesn’t have Cancer. and the feet are also always thrilled to be enclosed lusciously in Prada, darlings.

coffee and moleskin number 120. at a cafe next to the cinema in chelsea where we snuck in for a mid-afternoon movie watching while waiting for our glands to grow back and sobbed silently in the dark because we’re so grateful not to have Cancer. (the movie was AWFUL. we are not even going to do a Review. that’s how bad it was)

after she’d finished at Her Day Job – our lovely musician friend bP came by and brought her very deep healing energy (and some yummy sugar cube type material that FIZZES in the bath to make bubbles and was Very Nice late last night)

and then Not One but TWO parcels (we Adore a Parcel) came from England! one from TG (another TG, not a cousin, although we feel she IS family, in a way – the family of the pursuit of elegance and wit and language and glorious breakfasts just-nibbling-on-a-side-of-wheat-toast at Le Caprice) – a vintage postcard of Primrose Hill, a lucky gold chain to help our recovery from illness and sadness of the body and a small slim tome written by Charles Dickens (night walks) – divine.

and the SPLENDID William – yet again – with a fab-u-lous care package – we opened it up and had to lie down on our forearms (we are Very Emotional these days – did those glands protect us from Real Feelings? we have a suspicion that They Did – OVERWHELMING feelings on a daily basis. How do You People Cope?) and sob heartily without harming the poor scar in-the-neck. William remembered that we were asking people – most notably our divine Actor friend Jonathan – to read from Armistead Maupin to us during our confinement. Now Jonathan is very much a working actor and, as much as he loves us, we know that he cannot remain in our house for three works reading to us (he does have a Beautiful Voice). and so William sent the ENTIRE BLOODY THING READ BY ARMISTEAD HIMSELF!!! Oh! so clever. so thoughtful. so utterly, utterly, completely perfect.

we listened to Armistead as we got under the covers and pondered our day. and he read to us. and we softly nestled down onto the (vast amount of expensively acquired due to the Day Job Salary) pillows and giggled under the blanket as Armistead said naughty things about the Goings-On at Barbary Lane.

a perfect day.

and here’s One of the things we have learned. because JD (lady-of-letters) mentioned it to us in a DM (direct message, darlings) on Twitter.

the incredible messages and gifts and sentiments expressed from your friends during this time prove one thing – you have a gift for friendship.

which – darlings – you gave us – because before this Whole Experience – we were very, very lonely (and if we’re being brutally honest), very, very sad.

the gift of bubble baths and deep yogic breathing.

so there was an earthquake in NYC yesterday – isn’t that extraordinary?!

the building we were in (and on a Very High Floor) started to shake.

something was happening……but we didn’t know what

there was commotion and excitement and fear (and those of us who had lived in Los Angeles tried to be all cool and experienced about the whole affair) but secretly it was truly frightening – we’d never been so high up in a skyscraper during an earthquake – usually we were in a low’ish office block, or a design studio near the beach in malibu – or a spanish-style house or a wall-to-wall 60s shag pile studio in westwood where one earthquake felt like a HUGE truck was backing into the supporting wall. we stood with our face away from the glass windows and under a strong door frame and it passed.

things change in a second.

you’re sick. you have something wrong with your body.

these words don’t take long to say. but they change your life. our life. the lives of people we love. the lives of people we’ve just started to become new friends with and Very Much Treasure (so you know we’re thinking of you today and please remember the Yogic breathing as you go into surgery…….we won’t even identify you by an initial. but we will be thinking about you LOTS.)

the greatest gifts we’ve been given are those of comfort: music (including a very delicious mix-tape!), tons of splendid books to help and amuse and tickle us pink during the 3AM scary times and soothe us.

and then there’s the gift of many candlelit bubble baths.

a box arrived with a friend last night and we didn’t unpack it because we knew it would look beautiful in the morning light – like this:

we are so grateful to have friends. especially those with delicious taste and elegance of mind and generosity of spirit.

all we can say is (see picture) – thank you darlings.