SERIOUSLY SCORPIO

Why wait for the dust to settle? Here are 10 bullets from my end.

~*~

  1. Am imagining evenings for violin and piano. How long since I’ve even picked up rosin and bow!
  2. A drive through a stretch I call the Black Forest can be quite amazing now. So luminescent, a golden-yellow tunnel of light.
  3. Indian Summer officially comes after the first killing frost. It’s almost scary.
  4. How much I feel myself a dilettante. A little of this, a little of that.
  5. The Big Question? (Questions! Yes, it’s questions!)
  6. It’s important to have a place to wind down, to fester, to percolate. To look at the messy side of your existence. (Nothing of that in a Frank Lloyd Wright home.)
  7. Reza Baraheni is the Iranian poet I heard read after his release from prison and torture. He warned that the alternative to the Shah would be even worse.
  8. My Mediterraneo poetry project had me reconsidering Greek and Roman mythology and then seeing that in contrast to theology. What strikes me is how convoluted it is, more than even Hindu cosmologies, and how anthropromorphic, down to the birthing or immortals slaying other immortals while frozen in time. How intricately it’s bound to a specific locale and its people. In contrast to the One Truth implicit in monotheism, i.e., science, the mythologies give us a cosmos that’s chaotic, ruled by caprice, fear, vengeance, conflicting deities as the source of human suffering. How do you find direction in such confusion?
  9. A neighbor’s 2 1/2-foot iguana is on the loose, according to the poster on the telephone pole. There’s a $100 reward.
  10. You don’t shoot your own troops. Not if you want to win. Otherwise, there’s every reason to mutiny.

~*~

Along the Community Trail through Dover.
Along the Community Trail through Dover.

 

Just in case you were looking for red.
Just in case you were looking for red.

 

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IN THE PASSAGE

squirrels thrive, after all, largely solo apart from the mating chase or bout though they’ll sleep six or seven together yet repeated delays that autumn allowed little rest and precluded burying nuts as well as his lady’s daffodil and iris bulbs et cetera packed away what they could, hoping they could cobble a nest *   […]

GOING FOR THE GOLD … FOLIAGE

Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.

~*~

  1. We’re well into the foliage watch. Weather plays into it, too. Heavy rain, followed by glorious clear. Or sunlight blazing against slate-gray clouds. As for the chores, in advance of winter? “I’ve been on my feet all day.”
  2. Each October I revisit the symphonies of Charles Ives. It’s not just his birthday month but also an acknowledgement of his deep New England roots. The annual tradition often leads to the symphonies of George Whitefield Chadwick and then John Knowles Paine. Inevitably, I wind up with the one symphony and the piano concerto by Amy Beach. Big, magnificent, often richly Romantic pieces, for the most part. Wish they were much, much better known by the public. (For more.)
  3. A stay-at-home morning: pad about, get some writing and reading in, finally shower and dress at 2 p.m. And then? Swim in the indoor pool.
  4. Am wondering what might have happened if I’d achieved “success” – at any number of points. I would have wound up moving along that groove the rest of my life, likely without exploring many of the other facets I now find overlapping.
  5. My third-floor lair and my loft in the barn are both tree houses!
  6. My wife resisted when I insisted on the dishwasher. How much she objected! My, my, how that’s changed! These days she even argues it can be cheaper than hand-washing the plates and flatware in the sink.
  7. We live close to the state university but partake of so little of its arts programming. Even now that we know where to park.
  8. Bought a new calendar but back home saw it was for the wrong year – this one, rather than next. Still, the illustrations are marvelous.
  9. To gain the reader’s trust is the central issue of each work. It’s how transformation through action across time connects.
  10. Degrees of Truth? Now this really gets complicated.

~*~

Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.
Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.

LIBERALLY LIBRA

Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.

~*~

  1. How quickly the sun goes down these days. How quickly, darkness descends.
  2. Even if I could read a new novel a day, in a year I could not catch up with a single week of publication. So many good writers! How on earth could I possible keep abreast of them? Recognize names, even? It’s hopeless!
  3. Every autumn I have to be on guard. Take my meds. Something in the air often takes me out, sometimes for a week or two, with something resembling “flu like symptoms” that remains a mystery to my doctors.
  4. Moonlight at the lighthouse: silvery on shimmering surface surrounded by smoky blue.
  5. Sometimes I look at the barn and think of Joseph Albers. All the paintings he made with only three colors, each one a square band within another.
  6. What a wonderful fall tradition, these potted mums! Especially since we have so few flowers left that can be cut and brought indoors. Even the green leaves must feel they’ve overstayed. There’s something tired, browning, even before any blight.
  7. Take care driving the back roads at night. Much wildlife’s out and about roving.
  8. End of the season at York Animal Kingdom comes sharply. The pygmy goats in the pen by the highway are gone, as are the Ferris wheel cars by the beach.
  9. The goldfinches have lost their yellow. How sudden and uniform their molting! Back to winter’s gray duster c0at.
  10. In our autumn foliage, one day can turn everything. Or even overnight.

~*~

It's all angles. I love strolling around town.
It’s all angles. I love strolling around town.

 

OH, FOR THE CURIOUS TURNS

Why wait for the dust to settle? Here are 10 bullets from my end.

~*~

  1. So fine to curl up together in the hammock, even if we do require a blanket by this time of year. Good times, indeed, if we pause to catch them.
  2. Eighteen years later, I can still ask: Just who is she, really? Little is truly predictable. So much remains full of surprises.
  3. The joy of grilling continues. Pork chops and ribs, chicken, sausage. And anything beef goes so gloriously with our remaining stream of fresh tomatoes.
  4. The potted mums by the back door catch my breath each time I set forth. A few golden blossoms surrounded by a field about to burst out so starry!
  5. I thought the household chaos and clutter would greatly improve when the kid moved to college. I was wrong.
  6. Observing high school kids and realizing they’re so young! Compounded by recognition of how much unfolded when we weren’t much older! How did we ever survive?
  7. A parallel universe I could have inhabited. I’ve been grieving, so much lost, even while so much is gained.
  8. We’ve decided hard cider, rather than wine, can be a distinctive touch when we’re guests elsewhere or entertaining. New Hampshire has two producers we really like, and their work couldn’t be more different: North Country, in an old mill just a few miles away, and Farnum Hill on Poverty Lane on the other side of the state. As one friend described the latter, with great approval: “It’s apple champagne.”
  9. Barring a hurricane somewhere down the coast, the ocean around here can be warmer now than it was in July. Some of the best swimming happens now. Along with some of the best memories.
  10. Maybe there’s still time to harvest staghorn sumac cones and grind them into powder, like the popular Middle Eastern spice that goes so well on kabobs.

~*~

A widespread emblem of New England.
A widespread emblem of New England.

 

OH SO TRUSTINGLY

in the interim he would have to save the barn from immanent collapse and therein create a suite for his future mother-in-law so he helped the carpenter jack up the backside a half-foot to replace rotten sill and sketched out plans     tracked down a building permit     suspended new doors and windows learned to use a […]