Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holding on to 2013: August Moon


While we won't know until we get far enough that we can look back, 2013 doesn't seem a swell year so far, but it ain't bad, really. It is just that, as one goes on, everything seems both more and less precious. Which makes me wish to hold onto the status quo, because a change might be worse. By now, this tall sugar maple at the Tip of the Mitt will have dropped its leaves. And we are here in Idaho feeding ducks on the lawn; they scrabble through the gold of cottonwood leaves for the cracked corn. Tonight is another very cold night with frost crystals on surfaces.

I've lost another book; even though I have a fairly good system of separating books into categories. Last night I was reading again in Elif Batuman's intelligent, wise and witty book called The Possessed; adventures with Russian books and the people who read them. When I read the part about Isaac Babel, I got copies of his biography and his translated diary. I can find the diary, but the biography has eluded me today, and I really want to read it! The story of Isaac Babel is another sad story of repression and death under Stalin, there are so many of these, and I should be able to skip it, but . . .

a lost biography
he always wore glasses
--glittering rime

One thing Ms. Batuman told about Babel is that the last photo, the after-arrest photo, shows him without his desperately-needed glasses--and with a very black eye. And that years later, after things changed somewhat and they released his file, there was ONE SHEET of paper in it, and even that had his death date given incorrectly.

Good night, and thanks for your encouraging messages, Larry and Patricia!


No comments:

Post a Comment