I debated whether or not to attend–was the effort of braving the elements worth keeping the streak alive. I’ve had the ticket stashed in my armoire for a month. Bright sun would have been a convenient excuse but just my luck–gloom and fog have shrouded the city since dawn.
Technology can do some amazing things. Kids point in awe to banners of heroes in the Great Hall as they turn from brilliant color to the black and white images of years past. I saw Gehrig and Ruth with my own eyes. Back then the grass was just as green, the sky a more vivid blue than anyone remembers and a three-tiered ballpark truly felt like a cathedral.
The field across the street is a lovely tribute but my heart aches for the old stadium–not the 1970’s refurbished version, though that had it’s moments too. I’m thinking of the original Yankee Stadium built in 1923 on the site of an old goat pasture. If one looks closely–squints in the rain–the building is still there, veiled in layers of grey, lights twinkling, ground shaking with the roar of the crowd.
Those limestone walls screamed and fought back when they were torn apart. Their wails still echo, trapped between the rocks of the bluff and swirling currents of the river. Torture for those cursed to hear them for eternity but precious history for the handful that still survive.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghosts and Legends…all eyes on the prize.
The only musical instrument ever outlawed as a weapon of war.
This April evening sent the skirl of bagpipes bouncing through the canyons of Manhattan. Here in the States, pipes are played for parades, weddings and funerals but for me, the prelude of the drone sends me back to our Highland castle ruin. In those complex days of heartbreak and renaissance, my greatest savior was the evening ritual of the pipes.
Alone on a desolate moor, dressed in full clan regalia, the soloist plays from his heart, driven by the sheer power of the harmony and his love of the ancient earth. All civilization pauses, spellbound and silent in reverence. Legend tells of brave pipers that inspired soldiers to battle and instilled dread of certain death in their enemies.
I feel for a foreigner’s terror–the pipes stir my soul to the core–pulling me back to the days of the blood forest, our biggest gambles and greatest accomplishments.
My family home, my roots, our healing sanctuary.
New York City bodegas amaze me. Anything and everything you could possibly need–24/7, including a bouquet in a pinch. I can’t help but stop and enjoy fresh cut flowers spilling onto the sidewalk. The scents draw me like a magnet but nothing nearly as strong as my favorite, Night Jasmine.
Queen of the Night.
The call of the elusive flower is one my first memories of New Orleans–that and the humidity. Scent so light it carries for blocks, but so heavy it lingers in the back of my throat where I can taste it for hours.
I’m sure my private garden at home has run wild–again–the fragrance must be overwhelming. That’s the thing about Jasmine–you can walk by it all day and not smell a thing, but when it blooms, in the dead of the night, you can’t escape the magic.
Home in twenty days.
The royal families claim it doesn’t exist in nature. They say perfection has to be genetically engineered or meticulously bred from potent bloodlines–but we proved them wrong.
Turning Martin was necessary and justified and maybe a bit selfish, but most importantly, it was his choice. Freedom to choose is a rare commodity in this world. He embraced the change, all of it, the civilized and the repulsive, the cravings that bring all vampires to their knees and the ecstasy we chase for eternity.
Martin’s company has kept me sane these years. I suspect he’s taken better care of me than I have of him.
His music, the lyrics, his piano–that piano–resonate like no other. Even in the solitude of his private studio, far from the bright lights, screaming crowds and drama of the stage, Martin’s talent is unmatched.
A genius, a master and a link to my past…our past…that I’ll defend as long as I live.