Thursday, May 25, 2017

Every day is a beautiful day

Lovely morning, Thursday, 66.9° 57% here on 7H porch. Just inside, Linda’s television showing a large ship waiting offshore Panama City Beach. Looking forward to her entry, hoping she passes 7H when I can get a picture.

Another grassfire last evening, this one in Oaks by the Bay Park next door. I was on 7H porch reading when Linda came out to view the panorama and started shouting, pointing. When I jumped up to look, it was a total, complete circle of fire, which would tell exactly where it started. Time I’d called 911 again and been told PCFD was on the scene or enroute, and grabbed the camera to snap, it had burned out to just the circumference. What this says is that neither this nor last Saturday’s fire were accidental after all, not some gardenia fool thumping a cigarette but a deranged arsonist. Quite worrisome. 

Frankly, I never thought of control burning the high growth of grass on my Bayfront lot at the house, between MLP and the shoreline, but in the end when we were getting the house ready for market and the lot had to be photogenic, paid $900 to have it cut. It was a nightmare strip, pocked with hundreds of large concrete chunks that Opal and other hurricanes had tumbled landward from the wide layer of riprap my father’d had dumped at the shoreline to deter erosion.

Reading: several books at once, which I used to do all the time but not sure the mind is up to it anymore. Last evening, Overture chapter in the first book of Marcel Proust’s six volume series Remembrance of Things Past. I'd never read any Proust before. Translation interesting, not gripping, clearly autobiographical of his own early childhood memories before he gets into his stories. But then, his early childhood was stories, one after another, just as mine, some of which I’ve written here. Proust’s sentences are long, filled with commas, semicolons, open and closed parentheses, sentence endings so puzzling that it’s often necessary to trudge back phrase by clause and identify a long lost antecedent in order to be clear. If this is autobiographical, he had an interesting family, but I may be done with him, or may look for something short. Proust is from the end of an era of insufferably long novels later acclaimed as pinnacles of literature. A sample sentence:

"They were rooms of that country order which (just as in certain climes whole tracts of air or ocean are illuminated or scented by myriads of protozoa which we cannot see) fascinate our sense of smell with the countless odours springing from their own special virtues, wisdom, habits, a whole secret system of life, invisible, superabundant and profoundly moral, which their atmosphere holds in solution; smells natural enough indeed, and coloured by circumstances as are those of the neighbouring countryside, but already humanised, domesticated, confined, an exquisite, skilful, limpid jelly, blending all the fruits of the season which have left the orchard for the store-room, smells changing with the year, but plenishing, domestic smells, which compensate for the sharpness of hoar frost with the sweet savour of warm bread, smells lazy and punctual as a village clock, roving smells, pious smells; rejoicing in a peace which brings only an increase of anxiety, and in a prosiness which serves as a deep source of poetry to the stranger who passes through their midst without having lived amongst them." 

What else? This week, free on Youtube because I’m cheap, watched two more Russian war films with English subtitles. Almost childish, what they remind me of is myself as a boy during WW2, when, eight or nine years old, I would exclaim patriotically and actually believing it, “one American can whip ten Germans,” having swallowed a load of rubbish wartime propaganda. These films: small company of warm, kind, brave and heroically dying Russian soldiers turning back overwhelming forces of German tanks and infantry. Why am I doing this reading and movie-watching? Why not? A taste acquired during sabbatical and no appointments this week. 

It’s a beautiful day.


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