I had never filled up the memory in my camera before, never needed to edit as I went. If it had been just one night, I might not have needed to, but two nights, two days, required it. I culled photos in the middle of the party the second night, saved some memory for the vineyards the next day and was rewarded with gorgeous teary photos of green Napa in the pouring rain. Even so, I cam home with over 400 photos and still can't decide which hundred I love most, still wouldn't delete many of the final lot. That's what happens when you have a whole set you like - what makes them lovely is the way they look together - the juxtapositions forgive the lack of focus, poor light, the way someone is mid-chew, someone else is moving or blinking.
I went into the weekend thinking there should be pranks, mischief, art projects! But in the end, everything was too spectacular to need anything additional, it would have been gilding the lily. It all WAS gilding the lily - the rare bottles of wine, the lines of caviar, the pizzeria out back, the long winding driveway through the estate, the larger-than-life portrait of someone's mother, painted by Diego Rivera, the two Milton Avery pieces, the long banquet table, danced on, of course, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Prince on repeat, the way everyone's clothing had bones on it, skeletons, as though each person had made his or herself an element in a vanitas painting.
For my part, I put off the recording of it here, thinking every day that there should be something on the blog, some record beyond the photos that were lying dormant in my computer. I should tell you about the white blouse Amy wore under her leather bustier, with the high boots and the white tights adorned with leg bones all up the back, or Renee's necklace, long and elaborate, made up of charms she had collected over the years. Or I should talk about the food, the piles of cheese, the radishes with butter and salt, the plates of sashimi and baskets of tiny tangerines fresh from the orchard. And the champagne, the champagne, the champagne.
But sometimes some things are all too much to record. I knew when I went that I needed to get away, that the skeletons were emblematic, as they are in tarot, of change, and of some things passing out of my life, and something else coming in. The whole thing was too big to see at once, like the gorge you come across near Taos, invisible until you are right on it, standing at the edge trying to see the whole thing, heart stopped, with a view you could not possibly have anticipated.