Archives, page 1

Sun Sep 17 03:14:53 2006
Whee! Another blog platform!

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Wed Sep 20 15:15:34 2006
"To live is to be marked."

"Listen. To live is to be marked. To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know. In perfect stillness, frankly, I've only found sorrow."
--Barbara Kingsolver

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Sun Oct 1 18:09:06 2006
On Leaving Places

Leaving a place of residence means we have to leave certain memories there. Sometimes, it's more difficult to recall those memories without the place. Leaving, then, isn't just leaving. It's saying goodbye all over again and letting go.

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Sun Oct 15 01:12:05 2006
Music Soothes

Today on Weekend America, they aired a piece about their guest host taking up the piano again as an adult after many years away from it. I realized in a few weeks, I will visit my family's piano for the first time in about four years. Why I hadn't connected that to my trip earlier, I'm not sure. I've been really happy ever since I realized I'll be visiting it. I grew up with that piano in the house and I've missed it ever since my Dad got custody of it after the divorce. (It is, technically, his piano as it comes from his side of the family.) Listening to the Weekend America segment settled a few things in my mind. Instead of unpacking more boxes and organizing bits with higher priorities, I set up the keyboard tonight--not an easy task, since it involved moving about twenty boxes and a bookcase, finding the screws for the stand, and figuring out how it all went back together. (Note to self: Self, the cross-support is pretty important. Don't try to use the keyboard without it again.) I played until I lost track of time. Was it 90 minutes? 2 hours? It was fun and worth it and I feel like I shed a few pounds of stress during it all. I need to practice quite a bit before touching the real keys.

The last time I played I was among friends at a conference. We took turns. I couldn't remember anything to play from memory, so the next day, I brought music along. One friend in particular insisted on listening to me play. Next time I play for him, maybe I'll be a smidge better.

Weekend America also helped me figure out the first CD to play in my new place--something I haven't been taking lightly, even though in the long run it really doesn't matter. I'm blessing this place with music right now: my favorite Ravel: Piano Concerto in G.

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Mon Oct 16 00:48:51 2006
I seem to have the best hikes without my camera.

I guess it's a Murphy's Law kind of thing, but I seem to have the best visual hikes when I go without a camera. I couldn't find mine today and I was in such a rush to get to the woods before the sunset, I decided not to stress over it and to just skip the camera. I think I ended up having one of my all-time best hikes on that trail.

Even in the dusky light, the fall colors in the woods were worth the trip. The ferns are turning yellow as they begin their annual die-back. The maples are reds. I noticed some oranges and yellows, too, but I couldn't name the trees. There's still a lot of green, even in the undergrowth. After this week's frost, we'll see if that persists.

It's difficult to be quiet on the trails during this season. The dry leaves everywhere keep no secrets of footfalls. I heard feet moving rapidly through the brush early on, so I stopped. When they stopped, I continued up the hill and around the bend of the trail to a spot where I've seen deer several times before. The highlights of my hike stood along the trail off to the left: a doe and two young deer--twins, perhaps. We watched each other for a while, sizing up the threat. We were probably only about twenty feet apart. Their presence in the fall woods made me mourn my camera. (Did I leave it in the woods last weekend? Where could I have put it?) As they moved through the woods, I realized the only picture I'll have of that scene is in my head. Too bad I'm not a better visual artist. Their colors and the fall colors and the twins and dusk just came together for a gorgeous composition.

They continued on their way and I continued on mine after a bit. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, they were going my way. I had been trying not to startle them or make them feel threatened too much, but I was concerned that me following them might cause problems.

They passed through my favorite spot on this hike, making me wish for a camera even more. I proceeded slowly, lest I startle them any more than I already had. Eventually, they stopped moving with me and let me get ahead. When I was far enough away from them for them to know I'm really not a threat, I began walking at my normal, fast pace again.

The single track was absolutely beautiful and spooky all at the same time. I paused several times seeking out the source of footsteps that weren't mine and other noises in the woods. I heard something several times that made me think of an owl, but I think dusk is too early for owls to be out. More trees are down. I wonder if part of the allure for me of this set of trails is the spookiness and the challenge of being brave each time I choose this path.

After the trail junction by the creeks, I began jogging again. Something made me stop suddenly a ways up the trail. I slowly turned and looked to my left into the woods. About ten feet away from me stood a short, stocky doe staring at me. I don't know why I stopped. I don't know why I looked to the left. I just know that her absolute silence and stillness made me wonder how many other deer I've passed while hiking.

A few minutes beyond her, I saw two large, white. fluffy tails heading deeper into the woods on the right. When the deer noticed me, they stopped moving and all but disappeared. Even when I was looking where I knew a tail had been a second ago, I could not easily see them. One of the deer followed along behind me next to the trail at a safe distance for a few feet.

Close encounters with six deer and no camera! I've had incredible deer encounters like this before when I didn't have a camera. Maybe I should lose mine more often ...

(I found it in the closet after I returned home. Why did I put it in the closet?)

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Sat Oct 28 03:02:19 2006
Staring wars

I've been around since Friday around 8 pm just basically staring at the piano. Because of house rules, when I am here instead of off doing other scheduled things, I'm not allowed to play because someone is watching the television or sleeping or something else. I felt so excited a few days ago at the prospect of visiting the piano and being able to play. I even prepared the music to bring with so I could play. It hasn't happened yet. My time is dwindling. I feel very sad. I miss the piano. I've been sitting here staring at it over my computer for the last two hours as if imprinting it on my retina will help. Hallet & Cumston --Boston--

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Sun Oct 29 05:00:33 2006
Music soothes ...

I got to play Saturday morning for a little while. I think I got through about four pieces before the interruptions became too much. When I play, I think I prefer being left alone until I am finished with everything.

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Tue Oct 31 11:39:01 2006
I love what appeared in gapingvoid's widget today.

if in doubt, love.


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Tue Nov 21 16:50:41 2006
The Killers + Tim Burton = Video appealing to my dark side

The Killers' video Bones just rocks. The radio djs keep talking about it because of Tim Burton's involvement. They're right to be so psyched about it, in my opinion. It's great.

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Mon Dec 11 15:47:18 2006
Faith, Science, and the Mountains

A million people can call the mountains a fiction, yet it need not trouble you as you stand atop them.

And, of course, squirrels!

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