August 18th, 2020

anatomical beat

all my best changes were there

* Fire season is in full throated roar here. Yesterday morning, in the midst of a ten day long triple digit heat wave, we got a wild thunder and lightning storm. At eight in the morning, it was pitch black outside punctuated by the flare of lightning. Power went out, but at least rain fell. We knew it was going to be a bad thing and by the time I hiked up the road for cell service, we had had seven lightning spot fires here in the small village and 25 fires in the valley! One of our favourite hiking spots - a gorgeous five mile walk on a lakeside peninsula is gone. This morning our world is SMOKE and that fire is uncontained at several thousand acres. Luckily, its not a threat to us, but the folks living over there have been evacuated. All spot fires here were put out and all but two in the valley were extinguished.

This was right down the road -


Being on high alert is exhausting. Keep the car gas tanks full, keep the go bag by the door, keep backing up all the computers (five), keep watering, move the crawlers up onto the lawn, make sure the fire trucks can see our W sign that indicates we've got 33,000 gallons of water, keep the dog crates on the deck, sleep with one eye open.

* I can feel my goat-footed Muse finally enjoying some R&R. No writing, well, I wrote two articles for the parenting magazine - one on horseback lessons and one on WAG bags. COVID is causing some truly abysmal out of door behavior from folks who don't regularly venture out of doors. But no creative fiction. I'm reading and reading and reading. Currently doing a Frankenstein group read on InstaGram which is FUN! And devouring my Joyce Carol Oates books as though they were word chocolate. I'm so so so in love with this woman. I think I needed some maturity to appreciate her novels. I just finished Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. and I loved it. I would not have twenty years ago. Now I can relate to the family drama and the long dialogue passages and internalizations. I couldn't live on just Oates alone. I NEED my lyrical dark symbolism of Cormac and Faulkner and ilk and I NEED my British Novel for its in your face philosophizing. But now I see that there is a need and a place for the American Novel. The examination of the American middle class experience. She isn't all family drama, however. Her short stories are INTENSE and very disturbing. I've got about six volumes of her short form work and read one story a day.

* I did not want to watch JoJo Rabbit because the idea of using the Holocaust as an allegory felt disgusting to me. However. I watched it and it's fucking amazing and fantastic and you will weep and weep and everyone should watch this. It doesn't have a single wrong note in it and I worried it would. I wanted to judge it harshly but instead I UNDERSTOOD IT and I GOT IT and it's worth your time.