That Wavering Shrill Howl

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“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos. The pictures they paint, the music they compose, the books they write, and the lives they lead. Of all these the richest in beauty is the beautiful life. That is the perfect work of art.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

“I write almost always in the third person, and I don’t think the narrator is male or female anyway. They’re both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human – they’re sprites.” ~ Philip Pullman

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” ~ Graham Greene

“Autumn arrived in character”. That’s what I told my boss as I arrived at work on Saturday. First day of Autumn. Clouds, lots of clouds. Overcast, mildly windy. Dapples of rain. I enjoyed the day. It went on to sunlight and hot air, which was also nice – just not as nice. Now, it’s back to the half-fast late-Summer wind and sunlight, and . . . hey, I just used two hyphenated words, terms, whatever, in a row. Is that allowed? I’ve never done it, that I can remember. That’s the writer in me that does that, who has half an eye out for novelty laced with questionable grammar or lexicon or syntax. The word ‘questionable’ has kind of a bad name, or at least connotation. I don’t see it that way. Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes no. Sometimes it is both. That’s the rub. But if it all gets too bad, all of this intellectual baggage, I can rely on my Grandma Olive to grab me by the earlobe and lend me a hand. Better yet, to simply be here for guidance should I need it. Hoo boy. She is a formidable one alright. The thing is I can’t call her a ghost, because the term is too limiting. She comes in Spirit. That’s all I know. From personal experience I know that death is somewhat of a ripple in consciousness rather than the be all that ends all that is commonly accepted as fact. It’s not, so don’t bother. Now, Spirit hums in harmonics within my central nervous system today. The season has changed, and with it the quality of light. The Equinox has just passed and the Moon is coming up on full. In Celtic lore the old God has died and a new one will be born come Solstice. Dude it’s like the best time of year, right? Right.

The Sun comes up, bringing with it a brilliant day. There were coyote sounds earlier, in the dark. Mostly it was one extended barking party. You can tell they aren’t dogs because every once in a while a bit of that wavering shrill howl rises out of a bark. No mistaking that. I love it, that howl, because I know that I too have it in me. Alas, a couple of chores sneaked up on me and I have to do a small load of laundry so a jaunt into town is unavoidable. Whatever. I’ve got a lot of shoulder and neck pain this morning, with 17 days to go before the next massage. Poor me, right? All is well, however, and nothing is wrong.

Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.


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