On the home-by-the-highway walk. Monday, Sept. 15
First sign of Halloween. On a corner lot there are three ghosts: a tall one is at center flanked by two smaller ones. Image of tombstones comes to mind.
A little girl leaves the house. She is on the porch, and she waves at me. “Chime / chime / chime/ chime!” go her shoes as she walks down the steps. She is followed by an obese little boy, whining. “No I’m not going to do that. Keep walking,” says a large woman following him. “Chime / chime / chime / chime!” go the little girl’s shoes as she walks down the sidewalk toward the car. “Goodness gracious, baby,” says the woman to the boy. “Why do you want me to pick you up? What’s wrong, baby?” “Chime / chime / chime / chime!” go the little girl’s shoes as she arrives at the car.
In the choir rehearsal room. Sunday, Sept. 14
It is a dark, overcast day, threatening rain. I see from one of the windows of the choir room a clearing in the woods beyond. It’s not a big space, hardly a glade, but an area in which several trees have been cleared. The light shining in that area is clear, almost bright. Above the woods are dark, low clouds. The light there is not clear; it’s muted and gray. I show the scene to a tenor standing nearby. “Yes, I see,” he says. “That means something,” I say. “What?” he asks. “I don’t know. It’s a good sight. It means something to me.” I don’t know if he understood.
A good quotation about reading. This is by Garry Somers, Editor-in-Chief of The Blotter: The South’s Unique, Free, International Literature and Arts Magazine, October editorial: “All I could think was ‘read.’ Just get them [people] to, and let them, read. That’s how you change your own stars. You read until you like it, then read more. Read until reading almost feels like breathings feels; natural, effortless. . . . Have the children read. Help the children read.”
Reading. Fiction. John Steinbeck, East of Eden. I am re-reading the novel after several decades. According to Robert DeMott, writer of “Notes on the Text” in the Library of America edition, Steinbeck thought of this book as his “‘big’ novel of his lifetime, the culmination work of his career.” It’s not my favorite work by Steinbeck, but as I read, I am impressed by his description of the land and by his abilities in characterization. I will be reading this novel for a while. And then I’ll finish the reading or re-reading all of Steinbeck his shorter works since. It was first published in 1952.
Thank you for reading. Welcome, autumn, on the 22nd!