Saturday, March 11, 2006


Early this morning, I am wide awake. If I get up early, I must take Franklin with me. There is no debate -- it is his right. And while he is not much of a barker inside, he will have an indignant yelp to remind me, and the sleeping partner and anybody else if I leave him behind in his crate. So I take him with me.

In the dark downstairs, I listen to the the recorded book Atonement by Ian McEwan (and read by actress Jill Tanner). What a pleasure to be read an entire novel. My only complaint is that the 30 to 40 minutes in the car each day to work and then repeated in the evening on the way back home is not enough time. I become impatient, finally finding an old walkman cassette player to continue listening the last few nights. And so I finish it this morning, the narrator's voice summing up, ending the novel, a reflection on writers and their god-like powers thus limiting their abilities. Long stream of consciousness, long character sketches, essays on a a day at an English country estate in 1935, the deadly repercussions of a child's misreading on an incident.

The ground is especially soaked after two days of off and on rain, much of it hard, cold water, such fat drops that it almost sounds like hail and it plops on the car windshield. We walk out into the yard and Franklin steps over the increased number of sweetgum balls. He looks for the rabbit, or the neighbor's cat, and sees neither. It is quiet in the soaked townlet.


april said...

I always look forward to your latest post as I love your writing. I have visited often to utilize your Episcopal links as I am, after many years away, returning to my Episcopal roots and partaking in the Lenten season this year. And I am reading a collection of writings on Lent, titled "Bread and Wine." Some of it lovely, some dry but all introspective. Have been meaning to read "Atonement" but have not, due to the October arrival of my own Iain. On your recommendation, however, maybe I will get it on CD from the library for the daily commute.

Don said...

April - thanks. Atonement is in the tradition of English domestic novels, and plays with that genre a bit.

There is a wonderful book by Susan Neville called Iconography (Indiana University Press). It evolved from her Lenten discipline of writing each day during Lent. Her only requirement was to be quiet and write.

Rob+ said...

The warm weather of previous days has plants and trees beginning to bud and bloom. I'm afraid it's going to be short lived, however, as by week's end it's supposed to snow and drop back down into the low 20s.