August 23, 2010

This & That

Listening to some Keith Jarrett jazz, cool for a hot summer day. It’s funny how the same music can seem slightly mournful in the cold, dark recesses of winter but can seem cheerful in the blaze of summer. It’s like the Mona Lisa, some see a smile, some see something else. How we experience things seems so subjective on the margins.

And so the weekend wanes; 5pm on a Sunday. What joy to read a physical book again after a significant absence. Could feel the pages “fall and rise…in all their raging glory,” to paraphrase that tune of yore, arguably the greatest song ever written. Could also smell the brine of the pages, that sea-worthy smell of print and ink.

Stopped off for a quarter-hour at that fast-dying institution: the brick and mortar (almost said 'brick and mortal') bookstore. And lo and behold found something I wouldn't have otherwise - a memoir called The Haygoods of Columbus, an enjoyable read with a lot about Columbus. The author went to Miami U. too and describes that experience. A really cool find, and an absolute steal at $4.99.

So why hasn't the world produced the Great Columbus novel? Or poem or essay? Perhaps Wil Haygood has the answer:
Essayists and poets haven't written much about my Columbus by way of explaining its texture and mood. Perhaps it's a little too elusive. Maybe it's thought of too much as just a football-mad town. Maybe it's because sometimes it can seem otherworldly. A couple years back, [then] Gov.George Voinovich fired Billy Ray Inmon as manager of the Ohio State Fair. Being manager of the Ohio State Fair is a pretty powerful job in Columbus. Inmon didn't take the dismissal lightly. He fought back, staging a hunger strike on the statehouse lawn. One night a homeless man came into the tent and peed on him. That story made the news wires.
At the bookstore happened across Hamlet & His Blackberry about the ill-effects of being too-plugged in, too connected, too addicted to screens.. It's one of those books I want to have read more than to read. Peg Noonan recommended it in a recent column.

So spent the early afternoon weighing down the hammock and observing the fine fettle of leaves arranged artistically around it. There were a lot of clouds in the sky, which lent a certain atmosphere. Clouds, sun, don't matter too terribly much as long as it's warm. I lushed it up Saturday with a squadron of beers in the late afternoon, early evening. Definitely like the spreading out of the hops & barley instead of the concentrated Friday nacht.

Yesterday, like most mornings, I spent a hare of time outside admiring the cut of the day’s gib. I ambled out to the black bench looking at the dry grass and fall-like slant of the sun on the horizon beyond the hammock. Facts are facts, and if I were smarter I would welcome them instead of resisting them, and revel in the truth rather than pine for some fool fiction like eternal summer. And so the autumn comes, full of delights of its own, but also harsh harbinger of cold and ruin, of decimating temperatures killing leaves of green and sending song birds south.

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