January 22, 2004

This morning, the sky gods played Kegel above the house. They took flash pictures of the tournament but did not cheer when the pins fell. I listened to the rumbling of the ball down wooden lanes and the clatter of pins but never knew who was winning.

The rain, which always seems to accompany sky god gatherings, began early, woke me up. Now, the storm is fading, like they always do after sunrise; the rain has slowed to a sprinkling, and the feral chickens have begun crowing in some desperate attempt to catch up on the day's crowing quota.

By the way, there are new images in the photography section.

Recently finished two books that both managed to elude adequate summaries. Eva Moves The Furniture is a kind of ghost story, a description that hardly does it justice. Many thanks to Celeste and Jay for their Abundance Day gift of Girl With A Pearl Earing, something I might not have picked up on my own. Both books are luminous, and they linger in the mind after the reading is done, like the scent of fine chocolate.

January 18, 2004

Enjoyed my best snorkel experience ever yesterday. I may have finally got some of this breathing-while-keeping-my-face-in-the-water thing figured out; I spent more time exploring than panicking. Saw Moorish idols, threadfin and several other types of butterflyfish, a Christmas wrasse (he's green and red), a few humuhumunukunukuapua'a, and a whole number of other fish I don't have names for. Small convict tangs often appeared right underneath me, and I swam through schools of trumpet fresh, quick and silver streaks just under the glittering surface.

I may have discovered why tropical islands are such vacation destinations: They are not real. When you truly experience a tropical island, the soft sand, the warm water so many new shades of blue, the palm trees whispering to each other, the sunsets turning the whole sky purple before a final climactic crescendo, you have stepped into an alternate world. Wherever you came from just slips away without your notice, and when you finally do realize it's gone, you're not even sure what it was.

January 16, 2004

Finished reading The Merlin Conspiracy. A ragtag group of kids out to save a multiverse from a power-mad divorcee and a religious fanatic. Along the way there are many adventures including salamanders, an elephant, alternate earth-histories and an appearance by King Arthur. Light, fun, and thoroughly engaging.

My copy of the book is an advance reader's copy which I acquired when the GM of the bookstore where I used to work cleaned out her office. I remember her saying once that she loved to read young adult books but that she can't stand children. Maybe children are better when they're only fictional?

The backyard is a wreck, completely covered with leaves. One of the banana trees has fallen over, and the satellite dish can't find its signal. Wednesday arrived with an impressive storm: lightning, rain, and wind gusts up to 70 m.p.h. It blew itself out by 9:00 a.m., leaving arched over the mountains the brightest double rainbow I've ever seen.

January 13, 2004

Our first guests! Everyone promised they would come visit while we were island-living, but the prize goes to Otis and Vincent for actually following through. The official reason for the trip is additional editing on their short, "What If In This Life," but there has been more river-walking, waterfall-climbing, snorkeling and cow-pasture hiking than editing. We did an in-depth island-explore on Saturday, starting with snorkeling on the South Shore in the morning and watching the sunset from the North Shore. While snorkeling, we found a sea turtle snoozing next to a rock on the sea floor. Disturbed by the hovering snorkelers, he pushed away from the rock - elegant, beautiful underwater flight, so much more in his element than us floundering humans with our long skinny limbs and our faces smashed into plastic goggles. The turtle waved his flippers over his face like a sleeping child and winged his way to deeper seas.

Finished The Rainbow Singer yesterday. Not exactly thrilled with it. The narrator consistently denies responsibility for his actions, blaming his parents, society, religion and psychology for his hate. And while those certainly contributed, there was still a choice. But maybe I just don't understand what it's like to be a 14 year-old boy. . .

January 08, 2004

At sunset yesterday, the rain began, slightly more determined than a mist. The sun passed a space in the clouds, turning the west briefly to gold before fading to a dull orange. At the beach, facing east, we stood on soft sand in darkening water under solid-seeming clouds. We watched the rain streaking the skies as it fell above the horizon. Then, just as we were leaving, a small gap in the clouds appeared, revealing moonrise. Just a day past full, she reflected the sun's fading rays, appearing almost made of brass. She lit the clouds around her and painted a path of yellow light upon the restless sea.

I have either seen the beginning of the end of the world or have witnessed (and received) a blessing for this new year.

January 07, 2004

I have discovered a severe dislike for cockroaches. Smug creatures. The few I found walking late night sidewalks in L.A. were disconcerting but manageable if I stepped wide around them. Here, when we find one in the house, I am reduced to telling Ian, "Eeeww," and standing a safe distance apart while he catches it with a paper towel and relocates it to the garbage can outside. The reaction is uncomfortably close to that of delicate movie ladies who scream, jump on chairs and hyperventilate when they see a mouse. This parallel may be part of my dislike; it's embarrassing to screech at vermin.

Unrelated to these ramblings:one of my Random Thoughts has been discovered by another online writer and quoted extensively in one of her recent articles. Winged Migration is beautiful and highly recommended. Underworld is amusing if derivative and a poor substitute for Bitten.