The Surprise Within the Stripes


“It looked as though the leaves of the autumn forest had taken flight, and were pouring down the valley like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, all the leaves of the hardwoods from here to Hudson’s Bay. It was as if the season’s colors were draining away like lifeblood, as if the year were molting and shedding. The year was rolling down, and a vital curve had been reached, the tilt that gives way to headlong rush. And when the monarch butterflies had passed and were gone, the skies were vacant, the air poised. The dark night into which the year was plunging was not a sleep but an awakening, a new and necessary austerity, the sparer climate for which I longed. The shed trees were brittle and still, the creek light and cold, and my spirit holding its breath.”  ~  Annie Dillard

Weird. I’ve had several spells of Cosmic peace this morning, of oneness, whatever, and the Sun ain’t even up yet. I must be caught up on my rest, reckon? The oneness, the Cosmic peace, is not like the more mundane variety, which to me is a temporary respite from worries, anxiety, and stuff. The Cosmic type is coming within a breath of Eternity. And, no, I did not go to Colorado to visit the marijuana dispensary yesterday. I ain’t been puffin, k? So don’t even try it dude. Truth is I’m kinda dopey on the natch, at times. Now, first light is creeping in. Third cup of coffee, poured and waiting, vapors enticing; cat sacked out up on the bed, Oh my, she sure does have a pretty coat. Hey, something I noticed for the first time in all of my life – I’d always assumed that a cat’s stripes were composed of alternating patches of uniformly colored hairs. For some reason (I think it was just the light catching at a certain angle) I found myself examining a single hair, only to have it dawn on me that there are stripes are within a single hair. The stripe pattern runs across all of the fur. It’s hard to put words to it, but I am totally amazed by this discovery. Still, a cat’s stripes are going to be there whether or not I am around to look at them. The true news here is that my childhood curiosity and sense of wonder remains intact through the years. Admittedly, my wow threshold is rather low. That has a lot to do with it, me thinks.

I don’t remember ever seeing clouds as being mauve in color, but they were this morning. It passed within minutes, but the hue was truly there. Yet another point of wonder. There is a uniform layer of clouds overhead. I could see a straight line break in the clouds up to the northwest. Birdsongs are sweet and perky. I can’t rightly say why I am so on about curiosity this morning but I suspect that it is because I have been reveling in the investigative reporting being done in the political scandals that are bubbling up like noxious goo in our nation’s capitol. These gals and guys are heroes. And their approach to discovery is clearly developed to the level of science. I admire them all greatly. Rachel Maddow is rightly a leader in the pack, but I have a thing for Katy Tur. Just sayin.

I came across the opening quote while on my usual quote search this morning. Annie Dillard. The woman blows me away. Although a little more flamboyant, she reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver in many ways. Nature writing. Fact is I never sat down to even begin a list of my favorite writers. There are many more than I can even think of at any given time. Here’s the thing. I’ve been totally blown away by the Starz Network’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s brilliant New York Times bestselling novel, American Gods. I’m paying eight bucks a month to watch it. No money was ever better spent. Never. Neil’s writing blows me away. He is definitely a fantasy writer, and I like reading fantasy. Heck, I’m even pretty good at living it. But Neil writes without hanging the ‘big picture’ out where everyone can see it. David Foster Wallace did that as well. Textural passages ripe with factual, seemingly mundane details reveal the big picture only in glimpses. Ya gotta do the work. But the payoff is grand. Soooo, yesterday I sought to do what anyone might do about a favorite artist. Starz Network did a documentary about Neil. I decided I might like to learn more about the man, so I started watching it. “Started” being the operative word here. It didn’t resonate with me. All I need to know about the man is revealed through his writing. That’s the point. Look at it this way – Umberto Eco was a chain-smoker. What’s that got to do with The Name of the Rose? Sigh. I must get to my working day. Bueno bye.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.

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