Tuesday, August 7, 2012


We've been unplugged for the past few days, a virus by any name is a 'bug' and our laptop needed a retrofit so we went to our local neighborhood computer people; they took very good care of us. Without the technology of a cyber world the world that includes you at face-value is an incredibly generous one, and one that is unedited. Let's take the weather for a start. Around us here in the woods of Langley, the summer season has been uncommon. Late in coming in the traditional definition, summer showed up with sunny temperature around the 4th of July. Living among the Tall Tree Clan, sun is gathered up by the hundreds of tree skins and limbs that reach for it. In the small clearings where our gardens are planted, our beets, the tomatoes, nasturtiums,  summer squash peas and broccoli must wait until the sun moves around the Tall Ones long enough to get their faces, limbs and dirt beds warmed up. Soon, the sunflowers started in May might get enough solar rays to blossom.  In the meantime, our gardens and we grow with the season. My skin has browned up with the sun and the foundations of our life here shore up the priorities that we are claiming as important.  A week ago we took ourselves south to be with the canoe families and a friend took a photo of me, capturing a funny face I don't get to see. That's it above.
The word "photograph" was coined in 1839 by Sir John Herschel and is based on the Greek φῶς (phos), meaning "light", and γραφή (graphê), meaning "drawing, writing", together meaning "drawing with light".[1]  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photograph
 A simple thing like that, a photograph, is easily taken for granted. Every where you look someone is snapping a picture of a balcony in full bloom with summer annuals, the view across the Salish sea; a cell phone is not just for talking. Without a computer I took a break from thinking about writing and the days and nights filled with everything that is life without a computer. I read a couple beautiful novels. The Paris Wife written by Paula McLain about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife. Written in her voice, this writer captured a fictional account of life in early 1900's Paris and created a face of an icon and the woman who shared his years of 'becoming famous.'A New York Times review thinks the book a boring 'face' of Hadley Richardson, Hemingway's first wife. But I found it enjoyable for the story and the glimpse at both the way a writer maneuvered time and informed me. I have a personal interest in learning more about Paris, and a curiosity about reading a famous writer. While I vacationed from writing, it was a treat to read. The second novel I read was Lake of Dreams
by Kim Edwards. This was another book of fiction that traveled time, back and forth the character-narrator goes between times she has lived and is living, while discovering the life and legacy of a family member who had been lost (covered up, really) to her family's history. My favorite literally device the author employed was the value of letters -- personal communications long-hand written letters that never get to the intended reader. The letters are discovered and serve to link history and amend mistakes in spite of the cover-ups. The links to each of these novels takes you to a website that reviews books. I admit the genre of book reviews online is new to me. Odd? Well, probably but then I've been carrying a cell phone that is no longer manufacturer and would have happily lived with the old tool had it quit working (it would only ring once and then there was no guarantee that the caller would actually hear me when I did answer). I am technologically functional, but admit to not being facile with technological detail.

Communication requires a willingness to send a message, and clarity would be great as well. Not long ago my astrologer asked whether we, her readers sent mixed messages purposely or unconsciously. The idea and question led to discussion about being one who controlled through this type of mixed messaging. Elsa's question got me thinking over the past weeks while the planet Mercury was in a retrograde path; communication can be jumbled or delayed during retrogrades. What I'm thinking this afternoon as I sift through the ideas and choices of story assemblage is this:  sometimes all a teller can do is let the story tell itself. The face of story, the character of the event or the intent behind the story can only be as clear as the teller is capable. Capacity for telling is also a matter of humility accepting that what the listener/reader hears or sees is always filtered through the eyes and ears attached to the face.. Whose face? Yours dear, your dear face, reader.

What do you think about reviews of books? 

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