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Hurricanes, Liv Ullman, and tiramisu

October 28, 2012

My version of battening down the hatches for hurricanes is to cut flowers in the garden and bring them inside. Today my living room looks like a funeral parlor, or maybe a flower shop. Probably I should be taping our windows, filling pots with water or finding our flashlights, but instead I am mulling over Liv Ullman.

I went to see her introduce Liv and Ingmar, a new documentary film about her life with Ingmar, who, by the way, she referred to as Pingmar. Or was it pigmar. She was twenty-five years old when she fell in love with him and he was forty-six. They were together for four, maybe five years, and he was jealous and possessive and controlling and they fought and after she left they became life long friends. Loving friends. She told us what she had learned and how she did not blame Ingmar for the terrible loneliness she felt when she was with him. No one can take your suffering away from you, she said. When she finally screwed up her courage and left him, she flew home and when she landed at the airport, she saw a crowd of people carrying signs. It was the VietNam era and she thought they were protesters, but in fact they were her women friends who had rallied to greet her. The signs said, “Welcome back, Liv,” and, “We missed you!” They drank red wine and went back to a friend’s house and lay on the floor and talked about love and losing love etc. and the next day when Ingmar called to say they should get back together, she said it was too late. She had lain on the floor with these women. She had drunk their wine. There was no going back.

I was able to go hear Liv because of a fortuitous Halloween Dance hosted by my son’s school. Otherwise, I might have had to dream up some kind of American experience (leaf collecting, a hayride, pumpkin carving, maple sugaring, although I guess you can’t maple sugar in october) for our exchange student, who gets more wonderful everyday. Here is a picture of the tiramisu he made us last weekend.

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