hello friends! i thought it was about time i sent out a smoke signal to let you know that i am doing well here at moss cottage. it’s day 5 of social distancing which isn’t that different from life as usual for me, except school has been cancelled until march 30, but that will probably stretch out longer. gavin newsom, the governor of our great state just gave parents warning that schools are unlikely to reopen this school year at all. if that comes to pass it would be bittersweet indeed. i’ll save my reaction about that news for another day.
intellectually, i’m aware that there is a serious global pandemic underway which has the potential to take lives and cause major societal disruptions. yet, when i make my morning and evening rounds through the garden and around the trees, the plant kingdom seems oblivious, joyous even. filled with life and color. march has been WET. gigantic clouds can be seen marching back and forth across the sky. sweeping in from the north and west, rolling out to the south and east. maybe heading in your direction. be on the lookout. they are strange and wonderful.
i drift from window to window, up to my usual work – reading, writing, recording, observing, breathing. rummaging through my bookcases for a book i thought i had, but can’t find. finding another i thought i lost, but in fact still have; ordering an old edition of one i’m sure i will need. back outside day and night to check the status of the sky and the planets.
huntington gardens have closed to all visitors, but so far descanso is still open. i am glad to still have access to the oak woodland and camelia forests. today i am venturing off to my favorite empty beach to walk by the shore and see what beach treasure has tumbled onto the sand in the night.
on my bookshelf
i just finished my favorite book of the last decade. DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD. it was a pleasure to read. an existential, animal-centered, treatise on the heartbreaking beauty of the world and the noble animals and eccentric humans that inhabit it. starring a marvelous old woman with Ailments. animal lover, astrologer, translator of william blake. solving crimes and getting to the bottom of things on a vast plateau in the wilds of poland, very near the czech republic. i can’t say enough good things about it. engrossing from beginning to end. the quote from the book below is unlikely to draw most potential readers in, but from my point of view, it will lure the RIGHT ones inside the pages. and once you are there you’re unlikely to get much of anything else done. not to worry though! we’ve all got plenty of time these days don’t we?
using the libby app from the public library i enjoyed both reading and listening to this book. the audio version is not to be missed – the narration, superb. i read parts of the book at home, then listened over to the same parts in my car. a unique pleasure.
promise me you will let me know what you think when you’re finished reading/listening. the hold was quite lengthy, but so worth it!
i’m now reading another olga tokarczuk book – FLIGHTS.
My Venus is damaged, or in exile. That’s what you say of a planet that can’t be found in the sign where it should be. What’s more, Pluto is in a negative aspect to Venus, and in my case Pluto rules the ascendant. The result of this situation is that I have, as I see it, a Lazy Venus syndrome. That’s what I call this conformity. In this case we’re dealing with a person whom fortune has gifted generously, but who has entirely failed to use their potential. Such people are bright and intelligent, but don’t apply themselves to their studies, and use their intelligence to play card games or patience instead. They have beautiful bodies, but they destroy them through neglect, poison themselves with harmful substances, and ignore doctors and dentists. This Venus induces a strange kind of laziness – lifetime opportunities are missed, because you overslept, because you didn’t feel like going, because you were late, because you were neglectful. It’s a tendency to be sybaritic, to live in a state of mild semiconsciousness, to fritter your life away on petty pleasures, to dislike effort and be devoid of any penchant for competition. Long mornings, unopened letters, things put off for later, abandoned projects. A dislike of any authority and a refusal to submit to it, going your own way in a taciturn, idle manner…