A kitchen, dining area, living room and sleeping space occupy the main house, a massive, many-windowed structure built 11 feet off the ground. The approach crosses an open, circular, grassy area bounded by a delightful variety of structures and semi-structures and work areas and projects-in-progress; then, up a flight of sturdy but irregular steps to a balcony-porch that overlooks the yard...and beyond into woods.
Porter Briggs website). But I did have my first up-close encounter with a cypress tree on a walking tour the day after Thanksgiving.
Cypress is tightly interwoven in so much of New Orleans' history, something I learned while living there right after Katrina. I had read of cypress and heard of cypress and witnessed damaged cypress and signed petitions for the protection of cypress... But I had never actually seen a living cypress. They are majestic and mysterious like redwoods. They embody stillness -- and demand it. Their silence is eloquent and sacred. Strange, yet also familiar in a timeless, fundamental kind of way.
We were seven for Thanksgiving dinner, two men and five women. The table was beautiful -- if I can ever figure out how to make stills from the video I shot, I will post some pictures. The food and drink -- with the exception of water -- were delicious and plentiful. I was grateful. I gave thanks.
Except for A, we were a decidedly "middle-aged" group. One of the hosts had had a stroke the week before The soundtrack for the day was provided by Pandora radio via M's laptop; it was not "middle-aged." It was mostly what I would call "club" music: music designed for dancing, drinking, drugging and finding a sex partner. None of us danced.
I will be 60 years old in a few weeks. I feel it in my knees. And my neck. And, with particular weather patterns, in my hands. I felt it on Thanksgiving as dance music boomed and I remained seated. And I felt it in the forest, standing with the cypress, deeply grateful for a silent, uncomplicated encounter with another living being.