We "battened down the hatches" such as they were, removing the picnic table umbrella on the deck, shutting the windows around the house (and there are quite a few), and then sat around sweltering in the humidity as we waited for the storm to hit. I could have probably driven down to Brooklyn as planned.
I saw an article in some publication yesterday that some unpublished Katherine Mansfield stories had been located. I think I read a nice old British Penguin edition of In A German Pension and was suitably impressed by the writing. Having forwarded this news tidbit to M, I received last eve, The Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield, in order that I might further whet and satisfy my curiosity.
In between our lazy banter and the musing guitar strummings of J as we companionably sat through the storm, (happily, we still had electricity), I read the first story in the collection, The Tiredness of Rosabel. For nineteen, KM was blazing. Here is the concluding paragraph:
"And the night passed. Presently the cold fingers of dawn closed over her uncovered hand; grey light flooded the dull room. Rosabel shivered, drew a little gasping breath, sat up. And because her heritage was that tragic optimism, which is all too often the only inheritance of youth, still half asleep, she smiled, with a little nervous tremor round her mouth."
How much do you love that phrase "tragic optimism, ... the only inheritance of youth"? That struck a chord as I am so recently reviewing my life's path that led me to my current circumtances. Tragic optimism sounds about right.
I have often confused Katherine Mansfield and Katherine Anne Porter (I mean, haven't you?). Perhaps wading and wafting through these stories will change that for good. Meanwhile, I need to get back to Proust for next week's book group.
And off to see Emmylou.