“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
― The Art of War
Monthly Archives: December 2019
“Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can make one feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly being unraveled. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a balanced grip on one’s own being. The mind swells out to fill the entire landscape, becoming so diffuse in the process that one loses the ability to keep it fastened to the physical self. The sun would rise from the eastern horizon, and cut it’s way across the empty sky, and sink below the western horizon. This was the only perceptible change in our surroundings. And in the movement of the sun, I felt something I hardly know how to name: some huge, cosmic love.”
― The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
In November, on a bike-ride version of the Cedars Open Studio tour we stopped at an exhibition called Hyperlocal, by The MAC. There was a lot of good stuff there – but one in particular stood out. It was by Shawn Saumell and was called Shifting Landscapes. A small diorama of dried moss and flowers sat on a pedestal. An IV bag hung from the ceiling – slowly and steadily pouring out, not liquid, but a stream of sand. This was building up on the tiny landscape until, eventually, it would drown it in dryness.
Pretty cool stuff.
“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”
― A Child’s Christmas in Wales
At the Grapevine Christmas Festival they had these crude animatronic snowmen – where a moving face was projected inside a frosted glass globe when the snowmen talked. They told some sort of winter/Christmas story. The kids were fascinated. I thought it was creepy and didn’t stick around long enough to figure out what they were talking about.
Short Story (flash fiction) of the Day – The Tired Day by Benjamin Woodward
And in an empty parking lot, Louis, a junkie, dropped his syringe before the heroin could enter his vein, saving his life, if only temporarily.
—-Benjamin Woodward, The Tired Day
Today we have very short piece of flash fiction –
The Tired Day by Benjamin Woodward
I enjoyed this simple little piece of unique fiction. Like all good flash fiction it asks many more questions than it answers. Maybe I liked it because I feel like that all the time.
The Author’s Note is interesting too – he talks of writer’s block and bringing abandoned work back to life.
Two Dreams About Him After He Died
“I had two dreams about him after he died. I don’t remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin’ him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin’ through the mountains of a night. Goin’ through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin’. Never said nothin’. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin’ fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin’ on ahead and that he was fixin’ to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.”
― No Country for Old Men
Cosplay – Placed in Unaccustomed Clothes
“His gray suit makes him seem extra vulnerable, in the way of children placed in unaccustomed clothes for ceremonies they don’t understand.”
― Rabbit Is Rich
Water Off A Duck’s Back
“-Hey, listen,” I said. “You know those ducks in that lagoon right near Central Park South? That little lake? By any chance, do you happen to know where they go, the ducks, when it gets all frozen over? Do you happen to know, by any chance?” I realized it was only one chance in a million.”
― The Catcher in the Rye
I watched the ducks go about their start of the day routine from a bench along the water at dawn. One ritual was to repeatedly duck under the water and rise up – letting the water run off their feathers. Like taking a little duck shower.
Coffee in the… Well, Sorta Wilderness
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Walden: Or, Life in the Woods
Nick and I had a desire to go on a simple camping trip for one night. We packed up and went to a campsite on Lake Ray Roberts, not very far north of the city. It wasn’t much of a wilderness adventure – but sometimes it’s a good thing to get out and sleep on the ground. I rode my bike around the paved trails in the state park – the route was surprisingly hilly. It also was pretty cold at night. I’m getting old.
But the best thing is making coffee in the morning. My trusty Aeropress and a burner makes a nice cup of Joe.
Oh, and I have discovered that there is a new Aeropress available – a travel version that collapses down into its own self-contained coffee cup.
I think I need to get me one of those bad boys.
Cell Phone Tower Reflected in Bachman Lake, Before and After Sunrise
“There’s always a story. It’s all stories, really. The sun coming up every day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.”
― A Hat Full of Sky
“How often have I watched, and longed to imitate when I should be free to live as I chose, a rower who had shipped his oars and lay flat on his back in the bottom of the boat, letting it drift with the current, seeing nothing but the sky gliding slowly by above him, his face aglow with a foretaste of happiness and peace!”
― Swann’s Way
Out of bed at five AM out of the house at five-thirty. My son Lee was running a 5K – four laps around Bachman Lake at dawn. I enjoyed sitting by the lake, watching the sky brighten and the sun rise, the early morning planes lifting off from Love Field, the ducks coming to check if I’d give them something to eat, and the early morning crews rowing on the smooth lake. There was no wind – the only disturbance was from the ducks and the boats.
Lee wanted to run a fast time on the flat and open course. He did succeed in a personal best, beating a time he ran years ago, in high school.