Friday, February 23, 2018

...out of order.

Out walking with Simon, I stumbled over the last line of a story. It lay there in my mind all by itself, but as soon as I wrote it down, I could see the whole tale. Then it became just a matter of filling in the details. It is a short story now, but given enough details, it could be a novel.

Stories are seldom written all in order. Sometimes the beginning gets written last. Life is not lived in order, either, though when we've been edited, we remember it that way.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

...a prayer for lent.

Photo by David Longley
Lord Jesus, who for forty days
All company suspended
To walk the solitary ways
The Father had intended,

Out in the desert, vast and still,
While angels there attended,
You held fast to your Father’s will,
And all the beasts befriended.

 O Christ, guide us upon your road
We’ve scarcely comprehended,
And hold us up beneath our load
Until the journey’s ended

At home, before the Father’s face,
Where you have gone before us
To make for us a dwelling place
To shelter and restore us.

This day we pray that we might wake,
And heed Spirit imploring
Us all false comforts to forsake
and go with you exploring.

Words: Frances Simmons, pianist at Slick Rock Creek Baptist Church. 
Music: Southern Appalachian folk song.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Even on a day...

Even on a day that seems too warm for February, the sun sets right on schedule. The day-trippers drift away down the mountain to home. Then the moon rises over our town and the stories come out. If you aren't careful, one of them might catch you unawares.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

No contest...

No contest between writing another page and digging in the dirt on a February afternoon when it is seventy and sunny. On such days, you won't find me at my computer. Look for me in my garden.

Most writers are failed gardeners. There's hardly enough time in a life to do just one of them well.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Home by dark...

The Main Muse and I went over to Transylvania County yesterday afternoon to hear Angela Massey play her flute and Annie Brooks play the piano. It was an hour's drive, but we made it home before dark. Ian Clarke's Orange Dawn would have been worth the trip all by itself.

Thanks, Stephen, for the heads up.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The longer things stay the same, the more they change...

Saluda looks remarkably the same as it looked when I first lived here over forty years ago. There have been a lot of changes since then, though. The building in the photo housed my sculpture studio during that former life. It was an abandoned service station. The grease rack was still in place.

My neighbor, Walter dropped in one day to see what I was up to, and sat for a few moments while I did a little portrait sketch. I remember his hat and his mustache. Later, I carved a mask from the sketch. Walter said it didn't look anything at all like him, and it didn't, but a lady from Pennsylvania who didn't know Walter from Adam bought it. She must have liked it okay because she hasn't brought it back yet.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Think spring...

When crocus bloom, it's close enough to spring to grab a spade and dig a few rows ready to embrace asparagus and spring onions, prepare flats to sow for transplants, check the seed inventory and order what may have been overlooked, or what new varieties might be tried, decide where to expand the garden this year (it's never quite big enough). One forgets over the frozen days just how lively fresh-turned earth smells when it meets the air.

It helps, of course, if you have a good supervisor.