does not seem to be obtained from rogue biofeedback. Ever since Michael completed his massage program, I treat him like an all-purpose health-care professional: "Look at my wart," I say. I say, "Why is my knuckle sore like this?" Mostly I say, "What about this painful part of my back/foot/leg/bottom?" and so hands are laid on, groans of satisfaction are groaned, and I am grateful. But last night, as Michael was drifting off to sleep, I said, miserable, "Honey, help me with my allergies." Our pine trees have started their annual molt, and while the curtains of pale green dust blow in the windows, I am sneezing and red-eyed and scratchy-throated. When Michael said "How?" I said "I'm so susceptible to the whole mind-body thing, so psychosomatic. I'm probably a perfect biofeedback candidate. Try that." And so Michael put his hands on my chest, looked into my eyes, and said, "Take a break from your self, you crazy, overreacting immune system. It's just eensy particles of pollen! Mere molecules! Nothing to get hysterical about." And lo and behold, I laughed out a sneeze and wasn't cured at all.
Speaking of spring things, I wanted to thank you for your advice about shade perennials! We have hostas, bleeding hearts, lilies of the valley, vinca, violets, and ferns--all of which I love--and now we are the proud parents of a dead nettle, a primula, and a bugbane thanks to your wise counsel. I also have virtual sticky notes all over my computer screen that say things like "lamium: orchid frost." But I think I forgot to mention that I am an appallingly ham-handed gardener. I should be good at it: I'm crafty and a happy, capable maker of food. But I have no patience for plants unless they're dropping their gorgeous fruits and vegetables right directly into a basket that I'm holding out without even really bending my knees or putting down my beer. Alas.
And speaking of growing things, this book--Barbara Kingsolver's latest--is so fantastic that I read it every night before I even get into bed, while I'm still brushing my teeth. I am waiting patiently for her to invite me over for some of that asparagus bread pudding.
The latest wondertime columns are here and here.
Also, I seem to have waited until it was off the newsstand to mention that I've got a piece in the May O Magazine--this one about my bitchy wrinkles.
I hope you're all well and enjoying everything there is to enjoy.