A black day of unfocused and unfocusable anger yesterday, and so a Lost Day. A mostly Lost Day. There was a hint of redemption towards the end.
Day before yesterday, well, that was spent getting Sirenia Digest #33 ready to go out (thank you Gordon, and Vince, and Geoffrey), but I also managed to write another 700 or so words on "Some Notes on an Unfinished Film." I may try to work on it again today, but then it has to be shelved, so I can get to Chapter Five of The Red Tree.
Oh, I actually have some cool news from dreaded Dragon*Con. scarletboi spoke with Ted Naifeh about allowing Ziraxia to do a Dancy Flammarion T-shirt using his artwork, and Ted agreed it was a great idea. The artwork that gets used might be an illustration from Alabaster, and it might be a drawing of Dancy that Ted did for Sissy and Kat back in 2004. Either way, it will be very cool, and I'll keep you posted. I will assume that all subscribers have received #33, but if you haven't, email Spooky.
Yesterday...I'm not exactly sure how the day began, but by one p.m. or so, I could see it was going nowhere good, nowhere healthy, nowhere productive. So, after I'd somehow managed to focus enough to read "Details of a new skull and articulated cervical column of Dinilysia patagonica Woodward, 1901" in the new Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, we decided to head towards Watch Hill, at the very southwestern corner of Rhode Island, because it's a place we love and we'd not managed to make it down there since we arrived in June. We hoped the Labor Day crowd wouldn't be too bad, but anything would be better than me stalking furiously about the house. Well, no, as it turns out, that was not the case. The sky was an impossible carnivorous shade of blue, not a speck of cloud anywhere, and the sun white as hell, and all of it just making me want to lie down somewhere and dig my fingers deep into the earth and hold on. There is no explaining my "sky anxiety." And to make matters worse, we reached Watch Hill to find it awash and teeming in a foul blanket of tourists. I was heartened to see that "Book and Tackle" is still open, albeit in an inappropriately tidy new building. Also, it was good to see the Aphrodite moored right where I first saw her two years ago.
I told Spooky to just keep driving, to just get me out of all that light and out from under that hideous sky, away from all those people, and we headed back towards her parents' place in Saunderstown. It was shadowy there, under the trees, and I hid upstairs and napped while Spooky sorted through photographs from her childhood. By six p.m., I was calmer, and my head not so full of light, and we headed down to Point Judith, planning to have dinner at Iggy's, hoping the setting sun would have sent most of the tourists scurrying back to their respective points of origin. And mostly, that was true, just not true enough. There were still tourists, and worse still, this year's crop of college students. The line at Iggy's was too long to even consider, and seeing all those faces, my appetite died anyway. We drove down to Harbor of Refuge, where we were able to slip into the underbrush and blessedly away from the throng of fishermen and surfers and college kids. We climbed the steep hill above the Point Judith Fisherman's Memorial. The view from up there was wonderful, the day's first fleck of wonder. The poison ivy is turning red, the air was filled with dragonflies, and the western sky was catching fire. Spooky noted a great deal of rabbit poo, so (thank you, Edward Gorey), we dubbed the hill the Rabbit's Restroom (41°21'43.58"N, 71°29'6.75"W). We watched the surfer's over at the Point, near the lighthouse. There was a marvelous surf, and the largest waves were there, of course.
After a time, we climbed down to the rocky beach (approximately 41°21'42.99"N, 71°29'9.14"W) just east of Harbor of Refuge and sat in the ruins of Fort Greene (WWII, built in 1941). And finally the weight of the sky lifted from me, the weight of all that light. I lost myself in the crash of 10-15 foot waves against the rocks, and the sound of each wave withdrawing to make room for the next. There, the withdrawing water makes the most remarkable sort of noise, and Spooky and I have both struggled to find the right words to describe it. It's bit like hearing popcorn popping, if the kernels were the size of cobblestones. It's a bit like hearing bubbling hot oil, especially if an ice cube is dropped into the oil. We sat there with the gulls and cormorants and Semipalmated plovers while the sun set, astounded at the force of the incoming tide, at the concussions traveling through the stone beneath us. And here is magick, true magick, wild magick. The interface of Panthalassa and Pangea, which one might call mother and father, goddess and god, if one were so crass as to reduce either to merely anthropomorphic abstracts of their true selves. We stayed until dark, and Spooky took a lot of photos. On the way home, we stopped at George's in Galilee for fish (very, very fresh) and chips. First time we'd eaten there since 2004.
There are photos behind the cut:
View from atop the Rabbit's Restroom, across the salt marsh, to the east, and slightly south, towards the Point Judith lighthouse.
View from atop the Rabbit's Restroom, back to the west, and slightly south, of Harbor of Refuge. If you look closely, there are two dragonflies in this shot.
Down on the beach, in the ruins.
Another of Point Judith, as the sun sets.
Last photo of the day.
All photographs Copyright © 2008 by Kathryn A. Pollnac and Caitlín R. Kiernan
Postscript (3:07 p.m.): I just read that Don LaFontaine has died. "In a world..."