Most of the time, trees look like trees and in general, logs look like logs. But sometimes, a surprise waits in the woods.
Things happen within the trees. Stuff is alive.
Once in a while, even when the wood is out of the woods, there's a surprise lingering after the fire or the cutting blade. A charred fish.
The phantom of a horse in the heart of an apple tree. A monster in the stump of a honeysuckle bush.
And some make their way into houses, like this tiny cat that laughed at the camera from a piece of old decking.
The blog will be taking a short powder due to software difficulties...Evidently, all the wireless technology in the world and good upgrading habits can't save me from an operating system upgrade that absolutely, positively HAS to be downloaded via blah blah blah. Yawn. It bores me to type it, so I imagine it would bore you to read it.
Cross fingers the various computer issues can be resolved without too much gnashing of teeth.
It's a slippery slope, research. It sends you into some pretty strange places, even without a high-speed internet connection. Here are a couple of gems that I MUST share. Full disclosure: I am trying to erase them from my brain by scraping them off on anyone else. Thanks for stopping by.
A few more of the many things for which I am grateful:
I'm not alone in this one: after a radical re-arrangement of furniture, I found myself walking to where my clothes had been kept -- even though I knew with my rational brain that the chest-of-drawers had already been relocated to a different zip code.
Despite understanding the whereabouts of my wardrobe, I could not give up the sense -- the conviction even -- that the clothing was still there. Day after day, I'd stomp into the empty room, reach into empty space and be shocked. And a few hours later, I'd do it all again.
It was a piece of insight into how my grand-mother Mimi struggled in her later years. Having spent decades shuttling between summer and winter houses with the station-wagon loaded to the gills, she fixed on the idea of a specific set of blue dishes that she just KNEW were on the top shelf of a closet. She had hauled lamps and vases and pictures from one end to the other of her orbit of the Eastern Seaboard for years, but it was THIS set of dishes that gave her phantom pain.
In those last few years, stopping by Mimi's meant climbing up into the closet and emptying the shelves for Mimi's disappointed inspection. Sometimes twice on a visit. She never stopped believing, I think, even despite every evidence of her senses, that those blue dishes were up there there on that shelf.
Maybe in some parallel universe they still are. Where else could they be?
I don't really WANT to like either of these deep-voiced sensitive singer-songwriter types, but it's like a genetic imparitive or sparkly jewelry. Folky guitar, emotional pain, clever lyrics: I am pitiably helpless to resist.
It's early, but since I am bundled up in a thick sweater and looking at autumn-bright foliage, I'm going to embrace the festival of harvest and plastic orange jack-o-lantern buckets. Here are a few of the songs that call me to the season.
Other tunes on my Halloween playlist (I am a lister from way back) include, of course "I Am Stretched On Your Grave (Kate Busby's version), Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" (the regular tempo, not the super-slow version). Also, for a bit of relief from the Celtic tradition, "Graveyard Blues" by The Gits contrasted with the same tune done by Bessie Smith.
Hmm. Thanks to the magic of translate Google I'm going to just go ahead and coin this one: Rückwirkendneid. (Oooh, as a special bonus, they threw in an umlaut!) That would be Google-German for "retroactive envy." Close enough for my purposes, espcially with that extra-Teutonic umlaut.
What things beget Rückwirkendneid in the husk of my heart?
Oh, let's see. There's a short list of novels I wish I had written (Elizabeth Knox's Mortal Fire, Jasper Fford's The Eyre Affair, and Kate Atkinson's Life after Life). And inventions -- like my pal K, I wish I had been the one to figure out that sun-protection neck gaiters were going to be a thing. Also, I wish I had invented Tervis Tumblers because they make people so happy. And also, this website devoted to a collection of cool musical covers also kind of does it to me too.
Tell me what gives you Rückwirkendneid (comment below) and I will send the top three responses (or perhaps the first three! or maybe the three regular contributors who have commented on past posts!) a super-neato prize. Or anyway a "prize." Past winners have received things like paperback novels, handmade soaps, and lunch at my favorite Chinese place.
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