February 02, 2004

More pictures of fish. Ian has discovered underwater photography, frequently shooting entire rolls in a single snorkeling expedition. He was the last one out of the water yesterday at Queen's Bath; the vacationers we met there wondered why he was taking so long. "He really likes the water, doesn't he?" "Yes, but he won't come out till he's finished shooting his roll of film." "He's got a camera?"

Recently finished reading Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley's second retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The entire book is a celebration of the magic of growing roses, and reading it is much like spending a drowsy afternoon in the lushest rose garden imaginable.

And something completely different: Topic Of Night. I'm always surprised when I find thrillers I enjoy. I've never been terribly fond of the typical mystery novel; I don't like feeling stupid when I can't figure out whodunit (besides, it often seems the sleuths in the story have some last clue that enables them to solve the crime but which is never shared with the reader). But like in The DaVinci Code, its never a mystery who is committing the crimes. It's why he is committing them that creates the puzzle that keeps one reading.

And like The DaVinci Code, Topic Of Night gave me new thoughts to think. Like how little we westerners know of African history and culture. And how the mind and spirit are essentially still well-wrapped unknowns to us despite all our studies. We are such products of rationalism and industrialism. It's not real unless I can replicate it, explain it with long words but without mumbo-jumbo, and give it a complicated name the pharmaceutical companies will love.

I saw a wood fairy once, peaking at me from behind a fern in a forest grove. I could say it was just dust motes shining in a sunbeam, but that version of the story makes my life poorer. I have to believe there's more magic and mystery to life than that.

Speaking of magic and mystery, Happy 80th Birthday to my grandmother today!

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