March 22, 2017 (Wednesday)

by Yule Heibel on March 21, 2018

Yesterday I finally had a chance to leaf through this month’s House Beautiful, which arrived a couple of days ago. It featured the ugliest “luxury” kitchen I’ve ever seen, an example of conspicuous consumption and display (acres of marble, “even behind the cupboards!” – so gushed the accompanying text, ugh), useless, terrible-to-use but insanely expensive plumbing hardware, and a faux-royal island plus two (not just one) overhanging chandeliers (quite near the stove – I wouldn’t want to be the idiot responsible for getting the grease off the crystals)…

The whole thing was not only stupendously ugly and un-whole-some (its connecting tissue was sheer expense, but not taste or proportion or measure) and so painfully fussy: the magazine editors actually lauded it as a triumph. And all I could think was, Edith Wharton is fucking rotating in her grave.

I should say something now about the weather, or more specifically the sky. Yesterday was still warm-ish, today is cooling down. The sky outside my vast window wall, the one which lets the sun fry my head, is dominated by a gigantic, muscular cloud (in Joni Mitchell’s phrase – as though sculpted by Michelangelo), and now it’s breaking into thinner, spread-out pieces. It was quite a sight before it grew older and relaxed: tight, a firm mass, utterly dominant and dominating its field of blue. Now, like a body that exhales, its vast bulk is gently expanding and sinking into all the edges of the sky, till there’s almost nothing left but steel-colored cloud, some sharp highlights created at the edges by the covered, still piercing sun. It will have to inhale again, the great sky god, to create a concentration, a muscular puff of atmosphere, then released in rhythmic procession.

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