September 30, 2004

This is my first complete deciduous autumn (we arrived in the middle of fall, after the leaves had begun to turn, when we were in Germany). The hawthorn trees in our front yard are whispering secrets, chattering softly to each other as their leaves flutter down, patchwork on the lawn. The berries linger, outlining the limbs in a fierce red. Every few days, an army of small birds moves in, trilling to the dying year.

I have a vague memory of a comic strip: something startles a tree, and it drops all of its leaves at once. My redwoods growing up never did that, being imperturbable evergreens and all. The hawthornes don't seem to be startled, instead letting their leaves drift away like dreams. The cherries haven't even started to turn yet. What would startle a cherry tree? Or will they slip softly into winter's slumber, dragging the last leaves like a child with a favorite blanket?

September 22, 2004

As I told Jay, yes, yes, I know. It's not March anymore. And it's not like nothing's happened in the last six months, either. We've left Kauai, moved to Seattle (yes, moved, as in all our stuff out of storage - finally, all our earthly possessions are in one state, if not the same address), been involved in two weddings, made our first experiments in growing tomatoes, and otherwise returned to a life not on hiatus.

Upheaval does tend to upset whatever vague notions of routine I once had. I'm out of habit, in many things, and struggling to rediscover my rhythm. I've not written anything more than shopping and to-do lists. I'm not doing yoga, somehow unable to find the right time between stuffed and starving to hang upside down. I've even not yet figured out how to get up at the same time every day.

So, maybe if I just start at something, I'll find the pattern for the rest of it.

Of course, the one thing I have not let slide is my compulsive reading. But I've not kept track of the books very well. For anyone who's interested:

  • Cryptonomicron (Wow)

  • War of the Flowers (portable Tad Williams; big themes dressed in fantasy)

  • In the Forests of Serre and Ombria in Shadow (Patricia McKillip is so addictive)

  • Random Family (important - read it if you haven't)

  • See No Evil (what's wrong with the CIA, from the inside)

  • The Coming Global Superstorm (the source for the much-debated science in The Day After Tomorrow)

  • Ammonite (according to the author, written to answer the question "Are women human?")

  • Girlfriend in a Coma (yawn)

  • Under the Banner of Heaven (part of my attempt to understand the religious right, not that they are the focus of this review of Mormon history, fundamentalism, polygamy and murder)

  • Covenants (surprisingly good and refreshingly straightforward; I'm waiting for more from this author)

  • The Mists of Avalon (a gift from my aunt because I'd never read it)

  • Girl with a Pearl Earing and The Virgin Blue (both highly evocative)

It's probably not a terribly complete list, but there it is. I'm working my way through Guns, Germs, and Steel (big picture world history) at the moment. . .