Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

End of Summer 2009 (And Good Riddance!)

Only kidding about the "good riddance" part.  It was not all bad.  June burned; July simmered; August sighed.  There have been many balmy days, and cool nights, so far this September.  Thus the fire of 2009 dwindles down to the -embers... I am ready.
Perhaps I am finally beginning to acclimate myself to the ravages of the Southern summer.  I have not minded it as much as I thought, not as much as I used.  Some would say it is just that I am getting old, and that is true.  But of late I have never felt so alive, so appreciative of everything.  I am enjoying myself very much these days.
Writing helps bring about that feeling, very very much.  The Woodreeve's Tale is moving forward, slowly of course.  It is overwhelmingly a labor of love, and I am coming to realize that it is being written largely to satisfy my own need for what it is:  epic fantasy, written in the "old grand style" I have come to savor over the years -- yet still a mere echo of Morris, of Dunsany, of Tolkien.  I am a bit of a copycat, but I don't care; it has enough of a "modern" edge to mark it as mine.  For all its "density," for all its linguistic dance, I yet try my best to keep the prose tight, taut, polished.  It is not too hard, but it is slow going; the endless editing, which I have long ago gotten used to regarding my own work.  The editing is never finished, just put to the side until later.
It has helped to have a good and dear friend in Daryl F., with whom I have rekindled a friendship after losing contact several years ago.  Daryl and I exchange work and its attendant criticism on a weekly basis, as we often did as students at USM well over a decade ago.  Daryl, if you read this, know that your generosity will never be forgotten.  It is good to have an audience, even if only an audience of 1.  Peace to you, brother:  watch your top-knot.
I am joyfully expecting delivery of a portable bowperch this week!  It is a major purchase, and a step forward in my eventual partnership with a red-tailed hawk.  I imagine I'll try to get the digital scales in February, maybe a hood, bells, and jesses in the months between. 
Belle is growing up so fast.  It's been a great summer for her.  So many new experiences... just today, she saw up close her first flying squirrel, and got to hold a box turtle we found in the back yard.  She can tell a red-headed woodpecker from fifty yards.  That's my girl!
So bon voyage, Summer '09.  It has been good... but I will not look back.
(Not too much.)
Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"