After a wearisome phase, one of the most reassuring diversions is to flatter oneself with a tea party. Faithful to this whim (and trying not to think about the antagonistic summer outside), I planned one on my own (improvised invitation and all).
So I pictured myself inside a Caspar David Friedrich landscape (as seen above) to indulge in my own fabricated inventions…
The baked treats were a personal adaptation of thumbprint cookies (the fillings were berry jam and nutella -both homemade-), pecan crescent rolls, a freshly made phyllo pastry filled with pistachios and almonds, chocolate-sesame seed cupcakes, and an adaptation of a local Amazonian cookie called nuto, with arrowroot flour, almonds (as a substitute for eggs and butter) and anisette.
The tea for the occasion was Se Chung Oolong, of fruit-like aroma with the right amount of pungency.
My guests were the imaginary phantoms of those uninvited but paramount group of personages, whose output keeps company in splendid moments, or make them so. Gould, Schnabel, Fischer and Gilels.
There is no greater community of spirit than that between the artist and the listener at home, communing with the music…a record is a concert without halls and a museum whose curator is the owner.
After this of course, watching a film was imperative, so I decided towards Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon, so as to give my current mood and momentum continuity and completion. A film so idiosyncratic as well as universal, which speaks for all of our submerged contradiction, contemplation and steadfast search.
And so, after a heavenly afternoon I ended at dusk, surrounded by my favorite things.
The scattered tea goes with the leaves,
and simply crossed her yellow sleeves;
and every day a sunset dies.
Djuna Barnes, To the Dead Favorite of Liu Ch’e (discovered through Faulkner’s Intruder in the Dust).