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  • 10 - 23, 2011

    I used to hate Fall. I was Summer’s child. My sweatshirt didn’t come off until it was at least  80 degrees (for the rest of the world that’s 27 degrees). Now in 80-degree heat I’m melting  like an ice-cream cone and begging for AC. When the days shorten and cool I get a thrill I never knew as a younger woman. A thing inside me that has dreamt through the long days of light begins to stir with the lengthening nights. The time for busy exterior work dwindles, leaving more for interior reflection. The light shrinks. Slipping through a  knothole, it shines inward. I glow like a twilit Kinkade cottage. 

    I’ve wondered why Kinkade’s work is so immensely popular. I suspect it’s because the viewer is often outside looking toward a promised warmth. We all feel outside sometimes. We all want a promise that there is someplace safe and warm, where will be welcomed. “The Painter of Light” fulfills that promise. No one wants to be “in the dark”.  We all want to be in the know, which being in the light suggests. Light is goodness, darkness is bad. If we are in the light, we are in the pale. We fit. We are accepted and secure. Good things live in the light, bad things occupy the dark, things like fear, ignorance, and monsters. 

    That, more than the cooling days, is what I have come to relish about Fall, that I get to step away from the light. I get to journey into darkness. I have greater opportunity to see what lurks there, and in the bumping into it, befriend it. It’s no wonder my favorite Dr. Seuss story was Pale Green Pants (see previous blog)! Once I got to know those spooky pale green pants I found I really liked them, nor was I afraid to go out at night and fetch my Grin-itch spinach or fish for Doubt-Trout on Roover River. Befriending darkness doesn’t shrink our world, but doubles it. 

    In the fall, the door separating darkness from light creaks open. By October’s end it stands agape. Darkness and light blend, the borderlands grown unclear. The lines between known and unknown, real and unreal, waver then blur. The veil thins, and in the thinning, in the blending of lightness and dark, we come to a crossroads. Here, at the center where are all roads merge, we encounter the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. That which we desire and fear. In this, the thinning of the year, we are given the chance to become one with the Mystery. 

    Am I brave enough to take It’s hand, or will I bolt the door and turn on the lights? 

    10 - 23, 2011

    As a kid this was my favorite Seuss story. As an adult, I appreciate it even more.

    Happy Halloween. And remember, don’t be afraid to shake hands with the things that scare you! 

    “The Pale Green Pants”  by Dr. Seuss

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Well…

    I was walking in the night

    And I saw nothing scary.

    For I have never been afraid

    Of anything. Not very.

    Then I was deep within the woods

    When, suddenly, I spied them.

    I saw a pair of pale green pants

    With nobody inside them!

    I wasn’t scared. But, yet, I stopped

    What could those pants be there for?

    What could a pair of pants at night

    Be standing in the air for?

    And then they moved? Those empty pants!

    They kind of started jumping.

    And then my heart, I must admit,

    It kind of started thumping.

    So I got out. I got out fast

    As fast as I could go, sir.

    I wasn’t scared. But pants like that

    I did not care for. No, sir.

    After that a week went by.

    Then one dark night in Grin-itch

    (I had to do an errand there

    And fetch some Grin-itch spinach)……

    Well, I had fetched the spinach.

    I was starting back through town

    When those pants raced around a corner

    And they almost knocked me down!

    I lost my Grin-itch spinach

    But I didn’t even care.

    I ran for home! Believe me,

    I had really had a scare!

    Now, bicycles were never made

    For pale green pants to ride ‘em,

    Especially spooky pale green pants

    With nobody inside ‘em!

    And the NEXT night, I was fishing

    For Doubt-trout on Roover River

    When those pants came rowing toward me!

    Well, I started in to shiver.

    And by now I was SO frightened

    That, I’ll tell you, but I hate to….

    I screamed and rowed away and lost

    my hook and line and bait, too!

    I ran and found a Brickle bush

    I hid myself away.

    I got brickles in my britches

    But I stayed there anyway.

    I stayed all night. The next night, too

    I’d be there still, no doubt,

    But I had to do an errand

    So, the next night, I went out.

    I had to do an errand,

    Had to pick a peck of Snide

    In a dark and gloomy Snide-field

    That was almost nine miles wide.

    I said, “I do not fear those pants

    With nobody inside them.”

    I said, and said, and said those words.

    I said them. But I lied them.

    Then I reached inside a Snide bush

    And the next thing that I knew,

    I felt my hand touch someone!

    And I’ll bet that you know who.

    And there I was! Caught in the Snide!

    And in that dreadful place

    Those spooky, empty pants and I

    were standing face to face!

    I yelled for help. I screamed. I shrieked.

    I howled. I yowled. I cried,

    “OH, SAVE ME FROM THESE PALE

    GREEN PANTS WITH NOBODY INSIDE!”

    But then a strange thing happened.

    Why, those pants began to cry!

    Those pants began to tremble.

    They were just as scared as I!

    I never heard such whimpering

    And I began to see

    That I was just as strange to them

    As they were strange to me!

    So…

    I put my arm around their waist

    And sat right down beside them.

    I calmed them down.

    Poor empty pants

    With nobody inside them.

    And now, we meet quite often,

    Those empty pants and I,

    And we never shake or tremble,

    We both smile and we say…”Hi!”

    10 - 15, 2011

    I just read someone else’s review of Kate Genet’s Scarcity. Unable to believe it was as disappointing as the reviewer made it out to be, I quickly read it myself. Quickly being the operative here. It’s a short story. Took all of twenty minutes to read. Something the previous reviewer must have overlooked as she was so disappointed the story was, well, short.

    The main character is an artist, and if Scarcity was a work of art it would be a quick sketch, finely drawn with a brooding tension. Indeed, Scarcity  displays a pleasing level of maturity in Genet’s fiction and is my favorite work of hers to date.

    The only thing that bothered me about Scarcity is that it’s free. Genet still gives her work away for nothing. She is a fine writer and deserves to be justly compensated. So download Scarcity at smashwords.com, read it, then write a review and post it for her. Consider it a “thank you” note for the gift she gave.

    http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38053


    10 - 15, 2011

     

    Delightful novel about two Section 8 housing moms, with teenage children, trying to patch their lives together. Not only does Chadwick do a great job with the teens in the novel (Tex is a crackup!), she perfectly captures the frustration and love of mothers with teens. Her writing is crisp, by turns funny and tender, and her dialogue genuine and unaffected. Albeit a tad predictable, Angels and Manners is a charming read in the tradition of Rita Mae Brown. A solid four stars.