Monday, August 6, 2012



In The Little Prince, the title character says that it is good to watch sunsets "when one is so sad." I have not had occasion to test this, not that I have not been sad or seen sunsets, but when watching a sunset I find myself overwhelmed by my senses, and I feel nothing particular, emotionally. But whether sunsets are good for heartache or not, dawns seem good for backache. These days, being injured, sleeping is the least comfortable thing I do all day. I can't roll over or shift position without going through a slow, convoluted, and painful choreography, so I get up and vertical as early as I can. This morning I took my notebook with  me.

It rained last night, but this morning the sky was clear, but for some clots of mare's tails. The geese, which have favored the campground for grazing for the past week, were here, off where the meadow used to be before the mowing. Five of them flew off, honking, downriver. Twenty minutes later, the rest of the group flew off, going in the same direction. A touch of fog clings to the treetops before burning off.

I can hear crickets or grasshoppers or both--some buzzing, trilling insect in chorus. I can also hear a morning dove, a couple of chickadees, maybe a mocking bird (it sang some long, unrecognizable, melodic thing from the tip-top of a maple tree. I have a brain-tickle to the effect that mockingbirds like the tipy-top of trees). One song, by the river, is familiar, but I can't place it. At least it's familiar; that suggests I could name it, if somebody would tell me the name. More geese, crows, the kingfisher, and a woodpecker of some type, foraging, not drumming--wait, it drummed just as I wrote that. I wish I knew one drumming pattern from another. This one is a long, even drill. Once, I was a site caretaker at Stratton Pond, and a woodpecker there discovered that the back of the wooden shelter made a great drum, especially at dawn. I hardly ever saw him, but he became something of an infamous celebrity among the hikers.

The grey birches are yellowing, but that could be drought-related. The much-welcome rain last night has left the white pine needles looking clumped and spiky, like the fur of irritated, drenched cats. A new grass is up and getting ready to flower. I think it is a kind of Andropogon, but I'll have to look it up. Being injured makes botanizing difficult, since I can't bend down to look at anything closely. If I tried, I wouldn't be able to get up again, and I'd have to wait here, in the grass, writhing, until Chris missed me and came to get me.


This place used to be a wonderful flowery meadow, but the owner had it cut and he is now maintaining it as something like a lawn. But the faster plants have stuck their necks out again, raising thin plantain flower stalks like guard hairs above the pelt of lawn. I'm pleased to see the redtop is up again, the dew-drenched pink chandeliers that so enchanted me a month ago. But today my mood is different; instead of jeweled chandeliers, these fine-threaded grasses bring to mind clumps of cobweb, lingering, waiting for someone to please wipe them away.

I am the witness to all of this, its audience, and you are audience to me. Or, your voice in my mind is, anyway; the illusion of your waiting eyegives my ramblings weight and meaning. Illusion, I say, because the whole reason I started writing this blog was to have a place to put all the things I wanted to tell you that I knew perfectly well you wouldn't have time to read. But some of my words do reach you (some of these entries begin life as real letters, which you say you do read), and I like to think that if you had the leisure, you'd read all my words, and care about them.

What would I do if that were not true?

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