Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

errr….yeahhhh….the summer reading list…

NOTE: Twilight doesn't really have a plot. Unless plucking a daisy saying, “He loves me, he loves me not” is a plot. yeeeah. I'm not sure why I thought it did. I feel a little bit sorry for my past self. Silly past self!

 

Tess of the D'Urbervilles…so Tess' illegitimate baby has died and I haven't the heart to go on. I mean, it's summer and not a really horrid hot summer…soooo…

I guess I have to talk about Twilight as I keep pestering and jabbering to poor Jocey about it. There's a couple things about Twilight you should know. One, it's about a high school girl. So if you don't like high school kids, ignore this entry. Two, it's about a high school girl falling in love with a high school vampire boy. So if you like high school stories but not vampires, again retire. Steph was really the one that got me turned onto this book, otherwise I'd never have read it because I don't like high school stories. BUT I've always been curious about vampires, and I did my research when I was a teenager, because c'mon, Immortal. I have never wanted to be immortal (I think it would be excrutiatingly boring after a few lifetimes or so) but I've always been intrigued. Why the Yetti has never interested me as much, seeing as they're probably immortal, I'm not sure.

Anyways, I ate up Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It's a plot driven book oh yes and plot driven books Cannot be resisted. At all. I read it one night for about seven hours (with Jeff seated on the opposite sofa reading His vampire and zombie book. Now that's true love) and nearly passed out from my blood sugar levels dropping really low at about the eighth hour chiming (I'm not diabetic or anything but I have a massively sensitive system). Ahhhhh, but sugar level dropping while reading a vampire book is ironic.

I have huge arguments with the character development (as there being none) but you have to give it to Meyer. She's in the right genre. It's young adult- where character development for the intended audience is a bit in the wings. So I'm chewing through this book, wanting to know more about the protagonist, Bella and the boy, Edward and all I'm gettig is that Bella finds him so hot, she's willing to die to be near him. Oh yeah and he's beautiful and fights his monster I-suck-your-blood side. Over and over and over. And yet, and Yet, I'm all agog to read to the next book. I mean, I have to. Because Hello! The plot! Which no, I haven't elaborated but need I? Two teenagers in love, one is vampire, you guess.

All I'm saying if you're one for plot and vampires seem rather quirky, give this series go. I doubt Reading Rainbow would endorse it but I believe I would. It's a great summer read. But you don't have to take my word for it.

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Ouroboros in the Park

Japanese anemone flowers open blush pink petals in the park.  Their tall, delicate stems hold up the tender flowers, and in the centers glow tiny pistil-laden suns. Furry carpenter bees buzz in a frenzy, adoring the tiny suns. Like all true worshipers, they circle round and round the yellow centers, smearing themselves in joy and pollen.

I also circle a center, but the object of my adoration is the park itself. As the path guides me around and around, my body, full of the usual tensions and distresses, takes the cue, finds the beat and the measure and walks to it.

The English Romantic Poets of the early 19th century were great walkers and believed that walking was essential to writing to poetry. With the body busy, the mind can walk freely, investing in its visions and tunneling down into what were previously subterranean thoughts.

This small park is my open field, my verdure, my ramble through hill and dale. My feet move on, sometimes slowing to a near pause, other times hurrying, suddenly propelled by a new and vivid notion.

About the fifth time around, a sort of mesmerism occurs and I fall under the trance of the day. The circle becomes a mantra uttered by my feet—knees, hips, shoulders, and arms follow along and we head down the path. I must walk, I must keep walking, I must continue to walk and the resolution becomes a reassurance as a cool breeze fills my lungs; I am alive and refreshed.

I pass under the oaks and dodge their falling acorns. Sometimes I entertain the notion that squirrels are hurling them, but when I catch sight of their small triangular faces they look as startled as me. It is the oaks themselves that are throwing the acorns down. I momentarily consider bringing an umbrella, opening it when I walk under the oaks, but this an old consideration that I’ve been contemplating for years of autumns and I’ve never acted on it. Instead, I dodge and the squirrels stare hard.

Finally I have to go but the revolutions and bees in the park stay with me even after I leave, continuing  with their wheeling. They pass through the days and nights, rapturous and serene, monotonous some days and a miracle on others, and on most days both. They exist in the circle that is sometimes opened, sometimes closed. Within the circle, everything changes and nothing changes each time we pass through.

 

Kazuaki Tanahashi, Miracle at Each Moment

 

Pocket-Sized Photo Diary

There are small moments that must be filled. They open and expand while waiting in doctors’ and dentists’ offices; in long, slow moving grocery check-out lines; or in those few, empty moments before leaving the house or office for another destination. Staring into space is my favorite pastime and generally fills up all the minutes given (and much more), but there are other waiting times when my spirit needs a gentle pick-me-up without doing much conscious work.

That’s when I open the Photo Album on my phone and start scrolling. I discovered this delight quite by accident while lounging in my therapist’s waiting room one afternoon. I was feeling flattened by living with PTSD and other health issues, and I wanted muster up a little hope before I went into my session. So in a despondent, weary way, I opened up the photo album app. To my surprise, I was greeted by pictures of flowers, landscapes and book excerpts that I had busily taken days ago and had already forgotten. I scrolled back farther and it was much the same, mixed with pictures of friends, family, pets, and friendly dogs I had met on my walks.

I discovered my photo diary which had been my pocket all this time. “I never travel without my diary,” Oscar Wilde wrote. “One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” It still holds true; nothing is so interesting as what we took notice of days ago, weeks and months ago, be it written in a journal or snapped with a viewfinder.

As days spin into weeks, months, and years, it is hard to catch hold of any kind of underlining rhythm or purpose. A photo diary offers a kind of consolation. There’s nothing sublime there, it simply marks changing seasons, interests, travels, and friendship. But perhaps on the difficult days where everything is too much including our own thoughts, a photo diary is a moment of gentle release. The lightness of ephemerality eases the heavy load of living.

 

“But life itself is short, and so you are terribly agitated by everything that is eternal.”

–Eileen Chang, On Music