Friday, July 22, 2005


Trying to write this summer has been hard. For one thing, I have been happily busy - ferrying the kids back and forth to theater camp which they both love, remembering my own foray into elementary school drama, when I snared the prize role of Gollum in "The Hobbit" in fourth grade. It was a blast. I got to draw out my S's and wear blue face makeup and a four foot train of ripped-up black fishnet stockings. Don't ask. I mean, it was New York City in 1970.

Now I'm looking out the window at my California garden trying to write. I'm thinking about all the things I do not say in my writing - all the harder thoughts between and behind the lines. The stories not told. It's beautiful here. My jasmine is blooming, and the smell is so sweet I don't think hard clean thoughts, just dreamy unconnected ones. I think about the view from my old window in New York - mostly the tops of buildings, and water towers of varying sizes. They seemed like silent, faceless beings in their little peaked hats, watching over the city. Sometimes as I sat doing homework in the evening I would look out at their silhouettes against the twilight sky. They seemed a little sinister, authoritarian, like they were thinking, "Well…? Get on with it." If I imagine that they're still out there, hidden behind the jasmine, maybe I'll just jump back into the notebook and begin, see where it takes me. As Flannery O'Connor once said, "If I waited for inspiration, I'd still be waiting."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Little Lanterns

I was at a party in New Jersey last weekend. It was so balmy outside even at 9:30 at night. This is what I miss most about the East Coast. This and the summer thunderstorms. Then the lightning bugs came out, tiny sparkling lanterns of their own. I love the earthy way the air smells on summer nights back there. On July 4th in the Bay Area it is too cold to sit shivering on a quilt to watch distant fireworks through the fog. I stayed home and let my kids play in the driveway and light some ancient firecackers we found in the back of a drawer instead. I think I'm going to buy some little lanterns of my own...