Complications Ensue:
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Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm sitting in the living room of my friend Nikki's parents' house on the top of a hill in Southern Vermont. The clouds are not far above us; yesterday evening we were in them. This morning fog was drifting in and out of the gentle curves of the hills, giving the impression of a Chinese brush painting. The landscape is so quiet you hear everything, every breeze through the trees, every breath the dog takes as he's sleeping on the rug. It is immensely peaceful. I'm not a particularly peaceful person, and I'm unused to quiet. I have to slow myself down for a place like this, but if ever there was a place to slow down, this would be it.

I've decided I'm on vacation, so I'm not revving myself up to plunge back into my current screenplay. But I may not be able to stop myself from editing my book a bit. I have notes from a friend, and I don't feel quite at ease with myself if I don't write a little in a day. It's like a muscle that feels itchy if it's not stretched and exercised. I don't quite get people who have trouble sitting down to write. I'm most at peace with myself when I have a few hours to sit and write. I'll walk in the woods, but that is as much an opportunity to limber up my brain and think new thoughts that will go down in words at some point.

For the Pikapie and the dog, of course, this is a wonderland. Probably most of all for the dog; for the Pikapie, pretty much everything is a wonderland. For the dog it is fresh smells and a chance to roam off leash. He was galloping joyously about the lawn this morning,barely missing bowling her over. I wonder what he knows about all these smells. He can't see very well with all that hair in his face -- if I throw a bone into the grass it takes him mad perambulations to find it -- but he has a deep inexpressible wisdom in his thick head.

On this property are some fabulous dry stone structures by waller Dan Snow. There's a drystone yurt, and a raised bed garden, and a sphere, and a curving wall, and a straight wall. In the rain and air and seasons they have aged magically. He has a feel for the bones of the earth. If I had land, I would want things made of dry stone on it.

We picked blueberries for our breakfast off bushes that were as blue as they were green.

I can't remember when last I was at a place so quiet that there are seconds where there seems to be nothing at all to hear.

I am at peace with the world today.


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