November 1st, 2006
a brief tour through my neighborhood, followed by a glimpse into the mind of Ignatius P. Reilly
i am still getting to know my neighborhood, i am learning it’s language, and exploring its cracks and hiding places. my favourite parts are the ones that are not so obvious, an old sidewalk overgrown with grass, a littering of seed pods on a hill, an ancient window lit up at night on the top floor of a house.
our house is old and creaky, but stands solid on a slight hill. i have never lived on a hill before. if i look out of the front windows i am at eyelevel with a church steeple off in the distance. it gives one the feeling of being a lookout of some kind, standing at attention while peering out over the neigborhood. i wonder if i see the sun a few seconds earlier in the morning. or maybe i just like thinking about that.
i live next to a castle. going for walks is like going back two hundred years. (I often like to pretend that I have.) there are turrets, and vaulted ceilings and arches, and gargoyles. hundreds of gargoyles. they look down on me with their sneaky looks to let me know that I am being watched. I don’t trust them one bit. sometimes, if you are lucky, you can hear a concert pianist practicing in the great halls, the sound wafting out into the trees through an open stained glass window.
There is a network of pathways through the woods behind the castle. already i have started to form a relationship with the woods, the trees, and the animals that live there, (deer, stray dogs, squirrels, hundreds of rabbits, and birds.) there is an old moss covered foundation that is buried in the heart of the place, which we have dubbed ‘the stone cottage’. the fallen walls are like green benches inviting you to sit, maybe have tea or write for a time. I often wonder what it used to be, a barn, or a house of some kind. the animals own it now, and there is a large tree on the east side with a large hole, perfect for an owl, or for hiding notes which I am apt to do.
This week I am forced to slow down due to a cold. while I resist the lack of activity at first I acknowledge that it could not come at a better time. work has slowed at least for a few days. and I allow myself the gift of being sucked into a good novel, one of those where the characters become a part of your life for the time being. you think about them while going about your day and wonder what crazy things they will be upto when you see them next.
I am wandering through the world of Ignatius P. Reilly, and it causes me to uncontrollably laugh out loud and lose a bit of my grasp on reality. (those of you who have read the book will know what i mean.) what crazy hero is this, with his tendency to preach about the ills of modern society to everyone he encounters, while taking no responsibility for the miserably, pitious state of his life? he must be one of the most annoying, insulting, obnoxious characters ever written. yet i can’t help but like him somehow.
i can’t put it down.
don’t you love when that happens?
(and to T.Tucker who recently found me by doing a google search on the subject of “book sniffing”, I have on two occasions taken a whiff of this current volume, and find it brings me back to sitting on the floor in Bogey’s bookstore in Davis California, under the literature section.)