Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pumpkin Pie and Pizza

Thanksgiving passed with much driving and eating.

The pumpkin pie did turn out well. There's something about roasted pumpkins or any kind of winter squash with maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

But today I made pizza. I love the feel of the stretchy dough under my hands and the right combination of mushrooms, onions, and tomato sauce. Bliss.

Combining and recreating. Tasting and testing. A good dinner and a good book.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wind, Fear, and Beauty

More wind storms than I can count this week. Fortunately, no trees fell on my house, which is a fear of mine. We have another storm tonight, and I hope the trees stay strong. I do like watching the forms of tall fir sway in the wind, and the sound of so much air forced through the branches. The whistles of the pipes and gutters in the house catch as the air crashes against the windows and the cracks beneath the doors.

Long ago, I learned some things scary can also inspire something else. I have a perfect image of a cascade of sparks spilling over a cliff in Malibu looking like a glowing red waterfall. The brush fires I feared more than anything growing up.

Before the fires were the thunderstorms and tornadoes in Indiana. At the age of five, I knew green churning sky meant something strong and fearful. To this day, I still think it was beautiful.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Winter Settles In

Okay, I confess. The one season of the year I find a tad difficult is winter. I suppose it has something to do with growing up in a Southern California beach town. 60 to 70 degrees most of the year was typical (and, truthfully, kind of boring sometimes). Here on Orcas I face dim daylight hours, early sunsets, late sunrises, and cold, damp weather. Usually, it's not quite cold enough to snow, but chilly enough to feel miserable. I know spring will come soon enough--the first signs in February, but now I have to hunker down and face the months to come.

At least the outdoors doesn't pull me away from my work. A sweater, a cup of tea, and my laptop.
And, of course, a story to finish.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hit over the head

Twice I have had my scalp split open. I still have a scar on the back of my head from one. This is one of the reasons why I wear my hair long. The other is to disguise the size and shape of my enormous square head.
So now you know.

After the accidents, I tried to write poems searching for a metaphor for my life. Why did I want to get inside my head? I'm not sure my poems ever revealed anything more than the vast disarray of my daily thoughts.

I think of this poem by the brilliant Stevie Smith:

A Debutante

I cannot imagine anything nicer
Than to be struck by lightening and killed suddenly crossing a field
As if somebody cared.
Nobody cares whether I am alive or dead.

Beyond the petulant voice of a isolated teen (at least that's what I think), there's the line "Than to be struck by lightening and killed suddenly crossing a field."
Struck by inspiration, like lightening; the force that kills everything ordinary. The focus becomes the inspiration, the extraordinary.

The car accidents--unfortunate events that happened over twenty years ago. I am fortunate to be alive. From time to time I am struck, as if by lightening, and the ordinary world dissolves away.

Perhaps that is why I wanted to get inside my brain; I wanted to know inspiration works. I wanted to find a way to control it. Or, perhaps, my injuries were simply the results of two car accidents, and, as a writer, I'm looking for meaning where it cannot be found.

I can't help it.