Monthly Archives: April 2024

April 24/23

“The human heart is a cave of winds…”

Jona the Mariner of Belvedere Street

And here is a quote from John Cheever;

“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos (no less) and we can accomplish this only by the most vigilant exercise of choice, but in a world that changes more swiftly than we can perceive there is always the danger that our powers of selection will be mistaken and that the vision we serve will come to nothing. We admire decency and we despise death but even the mountains seem to shift in the space of a night…”

From ‘The death of Justina’.

The current internet culture is marked by loss of feeling. Mind I say ‘culture’ and not individuals.

I was recently at a wedding, the neighbor’s lovely daughter Calsey Kay and her groom Bodie Furry. Yes I know a strange last name but I assume it comes from ‘furrier’. Beautiful wedding, happy bride and groom. It was at an event venue near Fredericksburg and I was following Evelyn and Pat O’Hara my neighbors and their GPS put is in the middle of a pasture, from which we had to turn around and start again! A cold front blew in and it dropped ten degrees in an hour. Bridesmaids were all freezing in skimpy dresses, the groomsmen were luckier in tuxes but they got hitched!

April 9/24

Here are horses with proper eclipse-watching eye protection.

And here is a shot from a game camera near Kerrville — a mountain lion near Kerrville!! Can’t verify where exactly it is and have no name of the rancher who got the shot, but it does indeed look like the Kerrville area, around Telegraph maybe.

The eclipse April 8/24

My friend April Baxter got this picture, she’s in Marble Falls and manages the horse recreation for a large summer camp, Marble Falls is about 80 miles from here — but here, I only caught such a brief glimpse of the ring of fire that I couldn’t even focus my phone camera on time.

Amazing — amazing that the moon crosses the sun’s path, and even though it is a little moon of the third planet circling a mediocre sun, it is the exact same size as the sun as seen from that third planet, so precisely the same size as seen from earth that it throws a ring of fire. In what other place in the universe does this happen?

It went very dark and all the solar lights came on.

Eclipse Time In Utopia, reviews of old works April 6/24

Just re-read The Stand and it is addictive now as it was many years ago. However we are stuck with the old problem (for contemporary fiction) that the good people, like Mother Abigail, are passive and don’t really effect much of anything, and is the virtuous victim, while the Evil Dude is active, alert, seeking, moving and doing as well as homicidal etc. A hundred or so years ago the good guys were usually mountain bandits swearing revenge and leading their merry men down the declivities with savage yells. They assaulted the Evil Baron and set fire to his castle, galloping away with a fainting fashionista princess as a hostage, fell in love etc. Mountain bandits were usually about a nine on the Get ‘Er Done chart. But for more than a century our central character is usually a loser. A virtuous, sensitive, deeply caring loser.

This doesn’t seem to apply to the gazillions of non-literary fictions self-published on Amazon although sometimes you see it creeping in because the whole Evil-Active, Good-With-Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome is so pervasive it seems that a beginning writer can hardly evade being influenced by it. At any rate, the number of post-apocalypse, apocalypse and Fall of Civilization novels are unnumbered — pages and pages of them.

They interest me — at least for a few sample pages — because I’m curious as to the main character’s character. What’s the alternative? I suppose the ancient and rather worn-out virtuous victim MC will fade away eventually.

I am also reading all of John Cheever’s short stories. I admire him very much. I love his work. Shady Hill was his Troy.

I think these are about all the flowers we are going to get this spring. It’s painfully, depressingly dry. They are a kind of desert flower, or bush, I think. They bloom no matter what. We are turning into Arizona here.

But the eclipse is coming!

The town is already filling up and the Parks department has gifted our highway approaches both north and south with a great many flags, it looks great, the park is filled with gifts-and-trinkets booth and when I was in town today to get mail etc. I was glad to see Sherriff Nolasco and several Uvalde Sherriff’s department cars parked around town.

Just heard from my Lighthouse Island friends, going to dinner with Bill and Cathy Wightman Sunday evening and am on my way to speak at the Eudora Welty lit. festival in Jackson Mississippi next Tuesday. Looking forward to all of it and now I have to answer Elvia in Coatepec, if I get a letter off in Spanish before my hip starts hurting it would be a good thing.