Saturday, May 04, 2013

Know anything about mushrooms???

These are growing against the roots of both large cottonwood trees, down by the canal. When I brushed aside the leaf litter to take the picture, the broken tops showed dark underneath, almost black. Quite a vigorous sign of spring.

I am Kindling (not another book, June!) a new book called The Forest Unseen; a year's watch in nature, by David George Haskell. It is really a terrific book and not at all what I expected. I ordered it because of the great review in the New York Times, and because it was a finalist for the Pulitzer in non-fiction. He spent a year observing one square meter of forest in the hills near his home. I thought that would mean that he would dig up things and analyze them under the microscope, and conduct little on-site experiments. Not so! He just visits very frequently and sits on a nice flat rock and observes. No digging, or messing with anything! He starts at the year's beginning when it is very cold. He notices things. Then he explains what is happening and how and why. He references how things evolved, how organisms interact, how things change as the seasons change. He is a fine writer (I just found out he has also published poems!) and has all kinds of scientific information about small things I have never noticed, thought about, or understood. It's a WOW book, and I appreciate that it is just under $10 on Kindle, the price I think is about right considering there are no paper, ink or transit costs. And I cannot cut out the pictures, or scan pages.

Here is a little something about writing (my sacred love, writing, written and unwritten. . .) from William Stafford's daily writing for 28 June, 1968. Seems like only yesterday . . .
" Last night, sleeping on the floors of the Episcopal Chruch at Valdez [Alaska], I dreamed that some old, exposed roll of film had turned up. I held it, ready to develop it, and thought of the scenes, the people, ready there to be mine again, from that vivid, precious past. Without knowing just what they would be I yet hungered for them all.
Writing is like that, I realize: to hold the pen and wait, then start, is like holding that roll of film. Something will come; it will bring from the past. I wait deliciously. And the thing that occurs depends partly on how much I hunger!"
printed in Early Morning; remembering my father, by Kim Stafford, p. 154.

My idea from this for a writing prompt: choose a year, or even a decade, and imagine you have found a roll of undeveloped film. Write about what you might find, want to find, or fear finding.

Often, lately, when proofreading (yes, I DO!) I click on the little images below that the LinkWithin widget selects as having some relation to the displayed post. I am discovering all sorts of forgotten things, sort of like undeveloped negatives. As this blog cumulates, I find it serves me well as a stable repository for things I care about. Here is something I had forgotten. And so to bed. Good night.

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