Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

the falcon cannot hear the falconer

Things fall apart, the center cannot hold…so we are told.

And this held true to me and my two book reading list. Instead, I went on a huge Elizabeth Taylor splurge. Not That one but a literary one. Here's the one I'm talking about:

If you have an interest in self-deception (in others and yourself) and I must admit, I'm fascinated by it, then Taylor is for you. All her novels are “domestic” but the dramas…are the day-to-day dramas we all know and then some that are not. I just got done with “Angel” which may have had the ugliest heroine (heroine?) I have ever read in my life. And yet I couldn't stop. Her life played out true and hard and certain decisions she made as a child, she kept on doing for her whole life. And isn't that just like all of us? Some say Taylor is like Austen but I'm not for that. I love Austen but what Taylor is doing is something else entire. I think I find her closer to Barbara Pym (but then that's another Austen comparison) but anyway…Taylor's books are par excellence and she holds an unflinching stare where most of everyone cannot bear to look into. Especially many writers.

Besides that, things here are pretty fair and I'm gearing up for Christmas knitting extravaganza. I figure if I start now, I may get some gifts done in time. May…

But it must be noted that I completed my summer challenge of roasting a chicken. For some reason, roasting a chicken really intimidated me. Not sure. I just want to say though, for everyone, it's super easy. All the guts are gone by the time you get it. No worries there. So I roasted that chicken, made stock from it and then an amazing and homey soup by Tasha Tudor, artist and writer and chef using that stock. Surely now I can conquer the world.

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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.