Good morning, blog friends!
It's ten o'clock in the morning here, as I start to write this.
I'm feeling well--I woke up at six o'clock and blogged about arches and marionettes.
I'd really wanted just to chit-chat about nothing, but as normal I went down a Rabbit Hole That Looked Interesting (and was).
Last night Marz read me a piece of "contour writing" she'd done--an exercise in which you outline your surroundings in words.
She'd written it in a coffee shop (she's had her second shot!), and she told me it was boring.
Actually, it was weirdly fascinating to hear a description of an ordinary place I know, and some images remain in my brain this morning. For instance, Marz had written that the red sanitizing bucket was the only red in the café that otherwise was the color of tiramisu.
The Naming of Things
I don't usually pay close attention to my physical surroundings, so this might be a good exercise for me.
It's hard to write about things when you don't have a good thingish vocabulary---like, I never know what the parts of a window are called. So that might be a good exercise too.
Even the most ordinary surroundings can be interesting.
My surroundings aren't ordinary right now.
My sister emailed me this morning that yesterday she'd driven down Lake Street for the first time this month.
"It's sobering to see all the military vehicles, rifles, flak gear and police on Lake St.", she wrote.
Lake Street is a major thoroughfare running the five miles between the swank area around chain of lakes and the Mississippi River.
Along the way, it goes through an impoverished neighborhood where it intersects with the street down which George Floyd was killed.
(Ay, ay, ay--that's what I mean about describing everyday physical things--it's hard to describe a location without getting all tangled up!)
The thrift store is half-a-block off Lake St., about a mile from the murder site that is now (for the time being) called George Floyd Square, so I am right there.
The military presence my sister remarked on is in place because of the protests and opportunistic looting after the police killed Daunte Wright last week, but it was there anyway, put in place earlier for the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
The feeling is, if Chauvin gets off, or gets off lightly, the city will explode. Again.
As I'd biked down Lake St on Friday, I saw shops boarding up windows, just in case.
Having cleaned up broken glass after the store was looted last May, I see the wisdom in taking that precaution. But I'm glad the thrift store isn't doing that. Or, not yet.
It's a risk not to board up, but boarding up sends such a hostile, fearful message.
I don't know... At this point, I want to err on the side of openness, but that might be naive. At any rate, it's not my decision.
This isn't what I wanted to blog-chat about. But here it is--that's what's going on around me.
It's really, really bizarre to be living in something like Police State–Lite in a Time of Uprising for Social Justice, . . . and it's also bizarre how, while it remains out of the ordinary, you also sorta get used to it as The New Normal.
(But please, don't let it get any worse.)
Other things are happening too. Nice things!
bink came over for dinner on Friday, for the first time since it was warm enough to eat outside last fall.
She and I are both about to get our second shot, so we are still masked unless we're outside.
Like with writing about surroundings, you don't have to add all sorts of extra frills--life has its own intrinsic interest.
I was moved.
It was a wonderful trip to the Big Lake, but of course a short trip doesn't have the life impact of a 5-week walk.
Final note: Last night I watched The Spy Who Came In from the Cold for the first time in years.
It was excellent--wonderfully and effectively emotionally removed, like a subtle, dry white wine that sneaks up on you...
Oskar Werner, left, and Richard Burton, the unbridgeable gap:
BUT, it's really not at all suitable for Penny Cooper: Secret Agent. The girlettes are too young for dry white wine.
They could have a sip of sweet champagne, but I need to come up with something more like grape juice that leaves a purple smudge on your upper lip.
There's work to be done.
Tootle-oo. All for now. Have a good week ahead, wherever you are!