Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

Finally an overcast rainy day. One of the nicest things around.

I've been enjoying having a life that's full of thinking. I read and I think. I watch movies and I think. I stare out the window, sit on the porch, go out on a walk and think. Sometimes, Abby (my orange cat) thinks with me. Though today she's been very bitey. Bite Bite Bite.
Oddly enough, when I was having lunch with Jonathan, I saw Ronnie Deverie (sp?) at a Panera in Danada Square. It's strange seeing people I knew from Bethel Out of Bethel. hmmm…apparently he's going to Wheaton College. I refuse to let Wheaton suck me in.
I rather have my sights set on Iowa Writers Workshop or at least taking a class with Marilynne Robinson Someday. She's my fabulous find that I found on my honeymoon on Mackinac Island of all places. Such a superbly crafted writer. I really don't understand why we didn't read her at school. She'd kick the ass of so many pathetic novels we had to read. I mean…not only does she write so extremely tight and so extremely well, she's thinking about God and interacting. In fiction.

I think I should say something about my wedding…and so I shall say, it was very beautiful, I loved the flowers and I was so glad so many of my good wonderful friends were there. That was the gift. To see them smiling at me when I got married. Well, there's Jeff too. He's a gift as well.

With so many quiet but wonderful things going on, it's hard to write it all down. The progress of my novel is great but it's terrible (and I mean that in the old Webster dictionary sort of way- awe inspiring). I have so very far to go and it will be that way for a very long time. I have hopes of maybe chopping up some of the scenes and turning them into short fiction and seeing if I can get them published somewhere. We'll see, we'll see. Right now, I'm just tracing incredible change in one my main characters and seeing what they're up to now- how they're breathing, how they're walking and hardest of all, what they're thinking.

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A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.

The Fog Rises Up and We Come Down to Meet It

This winter has frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed once again. With the most recent exhale of cold, fog rises up from the melting ground and wraps my town in a trance.

It softens the ragged tops of trees and transforms the dead yellowed grass into a carpet spreading out into unseen lands.  With foggy foreshortened vision, the world becomes finite and in the smallness, my wonder grows.  Trees become gloomy gods, bushes hunch over like mysterious beings with secrets hidden in twiggy souls. The sky blurs out and the land rises up to meet it and everything is reformed or brought down to its most basic form. It is easy to become lost and confused.

I walk the perimeter of my neighborhood park. We become redone together.  The playground becomes enchanted, strangely unknowable as the slides and swings soften and distort.

The ballpark’s high chain link fence however, becomes more sure.  The metal darkens and braces and holds against the diffused white light.  I stare at it through my camera lens, delighted by its ferocity while everything else around it wavers and melts.

A train passes over the hill and I can see nothing, it has been whitened out, but I can hear the busy clack of the iron wheels running on steel rails.

Geese fly overhead for a minute and then vanish.

I press on and the mist parts as I walk and so we walk together, softened, softening with the night closing in behind our steps.  The night takes everything behind us, rebuilds it like it wishes and then I step into my home and close the door.

Rain falls a few hours later and the fog mounts up, gently pressing at the windows but by morning, it is all gone and only little bits of ice remain on the walkway.