The Sight: a Sketch of Distinction


In front of my house is a step. The step goes down once, hesitates for a moment, and then joins the sidewalk proper. People walk up and down the sidewalk all day with their dogs and never look to the right or the left, but if they did happen to glance past the sidewalk’s edge they’d see a little strip of green, a little white picket fence and then, beyond that, the lake. The lake is amazing, having both reeds and a little peninsula to give it distinction from a mere water reservoir. The green banks slopping down to its edge, and the half circle of trees which form a backdrop for it, all add to its pastoral dignity. It is also populated by ducks and Baltimore Geese. Where these go when the lake freezes over I do not know, but the moment it thaws you can be sure they will be back again, paddling around in it. Now that the days are getting warmer I notice the ducks are not as active in the afternoon, but they’re still there in the mornings. The geese seem to have finally left for good, but then who can tell with geese.

The sight of geese and ducks no longer seems special enough to take pictures of, although they lend my house that quiet air of untouched country-side which, in the suburbs, is more precious than a thousand feather beds. But Wednesday the ducks were replaced by a more esteemed visitor. I almost missed it, walking down the sidewalk and not looking either left or right, but something always pulls my eye to the lake and there it was. Glorious, but unfortunately, not showing me its best side – and besides, my grouchy little camera was sulking that day and refusing its batteries. So  I sighed and moved on, wanting to share my excitement with someone but unable to.

But Friday morning, when I came out of my door, there it was again. A magnificent sight in such a humble little neighborhood as mine. I grabbed my camera, with it’s newly charged batteries, and snapped a quick picture. It came out like this:

IMG_0001

Undaunted, I adjusted a setting and snapped again. It came out fuzzier than the last time. I switched to manual and focused in~out.

Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuur.

Certain settings would let me see the unbelievable thing on the LCD screen in lurid detail, but try as I might whenever I pressed down to take the shot, the focus would shift and the whole photo would be gone – lost in a beautiful indistinctness. After ten minutes the camera grudgingly gave the photo below, and though at first I thought it was just as bad as all the others,  now I don’t know but I rather like it. After all, it captures the surreality of the moment, the hazy aura of imperial pomp. The more I think of it the more it makes sense on an artistic level. Of course something this majestic  would be undefinable, and an exact representation of the moment could only be conveyed by admitting that that very representation was unattainable. And so I present to you a sight so rare even cameras tremble, The Emperor of Fowl:

As Unattainable as Perfection

Old as Dirt

The world is another year older now. It’s trees have shed leaves after leaves, lying down the components for a new layer of dirt even as the clouds atttempt to wash away the old. My house, young as it is, as already accumulated a quite unyeidling layer of Stuff and Things and General Mess, which sometimes I think I will never be able to budge. Thanks to my week of culinary excess1 my kitchen looks something of a war zone, and I know I’ll have some scrubbing to do today if I’m ever going to get it clean between meals.

Becasue my kitchen is so dirty and I’m tired of washing pots I’ve suddenly developed a passion for cleaning my room. Now, my room has pretty much been untidy since the day I was born, except for a few remarkably well kept years at college. Lately I have been using my floors as an excuse for my “drop-it-and-leave-it” ways, the argument being that I can’t put in proper furniture until I have my carpet ripped out and the wood laid down. It’s a good excuse, but it has gone on too long. If I think my room is too messy, it sure-as-yolks is.

Part of my desire to clean is really just a desire to redo. My room plans are pretty ambitious and I want everything to be well thought out before they’ve been properly begun, so when I realized I might have found a flaw in the propsed layout of my sitting room area I just had to go and move my bed and desk to the ooposite side of the room. This meant shifting boxes, and paper, and what I must admit can really only be called junk, to new spots on the floor. So I woke up on a completely different side of the bed than I normally do,  a nice change for a new year.

So far I like the new layout, but the best part is having to redo my whole design inside my head. I had just decided that I wanted a sunset with telephone wire painted just so there, and now I find that whole wall is likely to be hidden completely by shelves. Do I flip the painting to the opposing wall, or keep it out? What about the full length mirror?

 

Socks Off    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Soup and fish Satuday, stew and pretzels Monday, and soup again Wednesday

Week’s End: October 12th

Despite the title, I’m feeling very creative right now. I’ve had a wonderful day, and even though my office ate all two dozen cookies I brought in (and then washed the plate, effectively destroying all the precious chocolate crumbs), I’m perfectly content. It’s Friday, I have a new rosemary and mint scented shampoo, I’ve been fairly productive recently, and I have tomorrow all to myself.

I’m thinking some cooking is in order.

Particularly, I want to make things with squash. I saw a blue squash two weeks ago, and it was so beautiful and strange that now I can’t get squash off my mind. Simmered squash is supposed to freeze fairly well, and I’ve been wanting to make miso and pumpkin muffins for the past five years now. Also a freezer item, you’ll note. Well, yes, I’m trying to stock up  so I can start taking nicer lunches to work. This week has worked out pretty fine, because I made carrot-y beef stew on Monday, but today I just dumped some miso paste in a jar. Come lunch time I added water, nuked it for a minute, shook, and drank. Ah, nourishment. Besides, there’s something really magical about laying up. Maybe it’s because I’m a possessive hoarder, but knowing that there’s something of mine, just waiting in case I need it, makes me feel all “squee” inside.

Sorry, is this boring you? How about this?

 

Dark and cloudy? No problem, just crank up the exposure like so . . . .

 

Don't worry, the other side isn't as orderly

 

 

Yeah, thought you might like that. We can pretend that I’m not the kind of idiot who, without checking the rim, takes the wide angle lens off their borrowed camera to take pictures of a whole room. This, Dad, is why I stick to “artsy” over “informative.” It’s kind of like the messy argument.

 

 

 

 

The top for this shelf is amazing.  All shiny and black and Woah!

I’ve come to an almost stand still on decorating and design and house-stuff in general. My next step for the family room is some wall art for the space above the couch. And wall scones: we have no light near any of the sitting areas – go figure.

 

 

 

Anyway, plans, plans, plans. But today is October 12th, I’m listening to Emma Jacob’s “Futatsu No Kodou to Akai,” and I’m about to fix myself a bowl of milk toast. Have a nice weekend everyone!