Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Few Words

Hello, my friend,

I've been thinking of you lately. I've been talking to you in my head--the habit of having imaginary conversations is one I share with my father and it may have something to do with being a writer. But I do not anticipate actually talking with you, in person, until next year and I do not know what to say to you now. I like living in Maryland in this house of ours. And I like living close enough to my family of origin that I can go visit them for a weekend here and there. But I do not like not being able to see my friends with some kind of convenience...Chris wants to know why I don't make friends locally--and I have made some friends locally. But humans are not interchangeable.

What do I say to you? What do you want to know of my life? Thanksgiving is coming up, and we're going to my mother's. I told you about that tradition last year, and I expect this year to be just another iteration of it so I will not repeat myself. My bound copies of my thesis have arrived (I got two, one for me, one for a committee member who wants one), and according to the calendar I now have my degree. I have not received the actual piece of paper yet, but the conferral date has passed and so I am officially a master of science. I'm pretty excited about that,but this morning I feel pretty melancholy and I am not in a mood for crowing. Nothing is wrong, but I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by my various plans, and it's making me pessimistic.

Fall is pretty well progressed here, now. About half the trees here are loblolly pine and hence evergreen, but the other half are mostly oaks and they have turned brown. The leaves drift downward, relaxing into winter, and I pick them up on my walks. There are so many different kinds; at least five different species, possibly seven. I'd like to make a list of all the woody plant species we have here. It lifts my mood somewhat.

We went out to Assateague yesterday and spent some time tramping around the marsh where Chris has been cleaning up from the storm.  You could see the wrack lines, thick bunches of broken phragmites, cattails, and spartina grass pushed up halfway across the island. The surge came in from the bay, not the sea, and pushed in nearly as far as the main road. The boardwalks from the trails had floated off and scattered. Chris and his volunteers managed to save part of one of the trails, but the others will have to be rebuilt. The marsh elder is white with wispy, cottony seeds, as are the drying heads of thistle and the stalks of broom-sedge, but ome of the seaside goldenrod was still in flower. We went out to see the sea, dramatic grey and white with the latest offshore nor'easter.

I must be off; I have packing to do, for we travel today. I fear this letter is sort of bland. I do not feel much creative exuberance, and this melancholy of mine is not the inspired kind.


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