Friday, December 31, 2010


So it's goodbye!

A word about goodbyes, especially now that I've just come from La Traviata, at the Met (my first Traviata). I'm all for goodbyes. You know how Sylvia Plath wrote about the telephone being "off at the root"? No good-bye.

No good-bye is unsatisfying the way a ticket that's scanned with a light beam and not ripped in half with two hands is unsatisfying. The ticket is "used" but somehow has entered ticket limbo; it's passing for a materially whole ticket.

No goodbye is the marriage that shouldn't have taken place yet is not headed for divorce court. Like the scanned, unripped ticket, it's in limbo.

A friend asked why I'm ending this blog. I'm ending it because I feel it's time to do something as fun but perhaps more meaningful and mentally challenging and that will give rise to conversations with people (preferably beyond elementary-school age) who want to discuss something other than words that happen to end in the letter y. Should I discover otherwise, I will have no choice but to say hello again.

It's possible that this coming year my processed words will appear on, a hyperlocal New York City news site, although whether my prose would qualify as news I could not begin to say.

Back to La Traviata, which was a visual feast. Excellent use of color, and the ending was marked by sound taste in metaphor. I almost was going to have this last y word be slutty, in honor of Violetta who died of pneumonia brought on by bougie values.

Also I considered higglety pigglety, from the title of a CD I saw in the opera shop (browsing there made me want to see Orpheus and Eurydice and Samson and Deliliah). However, higgledy-piggledy was already a post, from December 2008.

And, so, with the clock ticking towards midnight, it made sense to end at the beginning, with surfy. I can't even remember what body of water he was describing, but my friend James, who has a British accent, pronounced surfy in a way that perhaps recalled a radio broadcast by Virginia Woolf titled (if I remember correctly) "Why words fail". The way Woolf pronounced words and the way James pronounced surfy, there was a connection there. Her o was related to his u, something like that. James has a little smile of his own, so there was that visual element, too, which made his surfy memorable.

There it is. Thank you, James, wherever you are (probably England).

My thanks, too, to Ari, who encouraged me to write this blog when the few people to whom I mentioned it were indifferent or said it was a waste of time. Even if I have written to but five readers, it turns out it was worth the time because it was worth the process. This commitment, I discovered, has yielded invisible dividends.

Good night, and good-b'wy.


edna said...

Hey, do you think James was not saying surfy but surfeit? Accents are funny, in both senses of the word. I can totally relate to the blog through in the towel feeling and so I respect the decision but am sorry to read the last post, the lasty, as your blog name appears in URL. As my dog would say, you is good writer.
Rock on!

Elizabeth Manus said...

Edna, thank you! James was definitely saying "surfy". I wish everybody could have heard him say it. What have "syntaxy", "flerry", and all the others been but a way back to "surfy"? The fact that I like rocky beaches and, well, surf, must fit in somewhere, too. Anyway, happy trails, Elizabeth

Temperance said...

And I just discovered you after the cell phone post on NPR. Will miss it, and hope there are future blogs I may find of ye.