In the first weeks just after my first child was born, there was just one thing that would always calm her down. In the beginning, she wasn’t a natural nurser, and mostly took bottles. So that wasn’t it. It was one song, a waltz by Wilco.
If I picked her up and listen to this song, she would always stop crying or fussing. No other song would do the trick.
After a strong rain in the early afternoon today, I went for a walk around Foster Lake, a lovely lake on the outskirts of the village of Alfred. Walking, enjoying the stillness, taking it all in, and I decided that I’ve always had it all wrong. The complexity is just a disguise, and there is something clearer at the core.
I was doing a studio residency in Paris. I was there for a several months total, though after about six years there my daughter came to visit. She was approaching three years. When she first arrived back at my studio after the flight, she had an unbelievable jolt of energy and was bouncing all over my apartment. She jumped on a bed, fell foward and clocked face on the wall, nose first. It bled a lot, but not for long. Shortly after the fall the fell asleep. We were concerned about a concusion. We debated taking her to see a doctor, but went out for falafel sandwiches and fries instead. We ate them on the steps of a Catholic church in a largely Hesodic and Turkish neighborhood. She slept in the stroll in no time. We gave up thinking about the concusion.