Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sitting, Silence, Sanity

Summer is winding down.  The garden is certainly past its peak.  I just want to sit quietly and take it all in.  I need to be alone more, silent more. I sometimes feel like I spend the entire day scrambling, organizing, contriving, just so that I can be alone for a couple of hours in the garden (see photo below), and then half the time this is kiboshed by some unknown force anyway.  During the week we rise at 5:30 or 6 and I've learned to head right to the spot above.  I write in a notebook and also in my journal for at least an hour.  This has mostly saved my sanity this summer, and I plan on continuing it in the fall, though I have so many notes, there will be a point when I need to work on the computer first thing. 

Other summer sanity savers:  Good books, mellow music, some wonderful movies, and most importantly, a rather ridiculous amount of wine. 

I did read some excellent books this summer: a couple of novels and a book of essays by Siri Hustvedt were among my favorites. 

Am currently loving this song

But mainly, have felt too often like Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight.

Am happy with the increasing randomness of this blog.  Once in a while I get a great idea for a project, or a series of interviews, and then I remember - I'm too damned tired and I'm writing a novel. 

Meanwhile, I've finally figured out my 'comments issue.'  The option to leave a comment has been there for quite a while, but you could only see it when you clicked on the post title.  Long story short, I clicked the appropriate button, and voila, now they're visible on the main page as well.  Also loving the new Blogger spam control which saves me from being spammed by people from overseas trying to sell purses in my comments. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Arrivals and Departures by Nina Berkhout

There's nothing more grand than coffee in the backyard when your child is at a summer art camp.  Unless, it's accompanied by a book of poetry written by a dear friend.  To read Arrivals and Departures by Nina Berkhout is to be swept into a Rilkean sea, waves crashing, relentless and delicate, grief-filled and wise.

The pared down lines, the dangerous lull of the rhythmic waves that make up the poems, and the narrator's perfect distance, are utterly breathtaking in combination. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Guardian of Your Soul is Near

It is August.  I'm exhausted.  Feeling fragile.  I've been having cravings for winter, the dead cold silence of winter. (This is obviously a form of madness).  For alone.  All these things will pass.  When I'm not writing enough, I'm off-kilter.  I'm falling apart. 

Feathers often find me.  I'm attuned to the sound of feathers falling.  Usually they're white.  I knew I had finished my novel, Hive, when I opened the front door and found a white feather.  The novel ends with a white feather. 

But this black one.  It found me, I found it, it arrived, yesterday. I looked up the meaning on Ye Olde Web, and found this:  "a black feather means the guardian of your soul is near."  I looked no further.  The primary character in my work in progress is interested / obsessed not only with purses and handbags, but with the philosophy of the soul.  She needs a guardian for her soul.  This black feather belongs to her.