bits and pieces

The photo above is one I took out at Roundrock back in 2007, on a wet July day. There was water on my gravel road, and these bubbles were rising continuously in one small pool. I understand this is tessellation, which is an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together without gaps or overlapping. I didn’t notice until now, fourteen years later, that there is a tiny grasshopper in the photo at the lower left. I wonder what it’s doing today.


I found a sentence I wrote in Obelus that is 238 words long, with one colon, 14 commas, and four parenthetical phrases. The word “pausing” appears in it five times. The narrative voice is supposed to be self conscious and even playful, so I don’t consider this monstrosity to be out of order. Perhaps it’s a kind of verbal tessallation. And it ain’t nothing compared to the 1,287-word sentence in Absalom, Absalom that Faulkner wrote (and I managed to read after two tries).

Also, the word “potentate” occurs four times in Obelus.


The forays into my old journals continue. 1984 was a productive year it seems. I’m getting reacquainted with old story ideas I had, even well-developed plots for novels that never happened. But what strikes me most about these visits is getting lost memories sparked again. I found an entry recounting a particularly vivid dream I had had, and as I read my old account of it, the memory of the dream came back to me as though it had happened only last night. The same has been true with most of the general musings I’d had. I read this or that random thought and remember it fully now. That’s interesting and all, but what’s more interesting to me is that without these triggers, I think those memories would be lost to me forever. And if they were, would part of my make up be erased?


I rode the 26-mile route on the Indian Creek and Blue River Trails on Saturday morning. It was already 81 degrees when I got to the start at 5:00 a.m., and I worried that it would be a bad ride. But the sun stayed behind the clouds most of the time, and by constantly moving, I had a nice breeze, so I was never hot. This was the first time this year that I’d ridden that route. A number of factors had conspired to prevent me before including the weather (flooded/muddy/messy trail) and my pit crew being in St. Louis on some ideal weekends (or me choosing to go to the cabin instead). But all that gave way last weekend and I got going.

About nine miles into my ride, I came upon this:

An immense red oak had fallen in the night and blocked the trail. (We didn’t have bad weather, and the tree looked to be healthy. But it came out, roots and all.) These things happen on the trail, and usually there is a way around them, but this one was more of a challenge. I ended up carrying my bike on my shoulder and stepping branch to branch on the left side of this photo. My feet never touched the ground until I was on the other side. And I only got a slight laceration on my left calf. But then it was back to riding.

I expected to have trouble completing the ride since I hadn’t ridden that distance since sometime last fall, but it all went smoothly. I did get a little tired near the end, but I attribute that to having been away from it so long. My legs never tired (though my quads got very tight and I decided to foam roll them when I got home), and my heart and lungs were in the game the entire time. So now I look forward to riding the route again.


I am still wearing a mask when I go to public places even though I’ve been fully vaccinated. My county, purple in a red state, mostly well educated, and fairly affluent, still reports that less than half of the eligible population is fully vaccinated and just over half have had both shots. I don’t know what that’s about. A neighboring city (well, three hours away) is reporting an upsurge in COVID cases because of prevailing resistance to the vaccination. As the last election showed, they live among us, and they are more common than believed.

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One Comment on “bits and pieces”

  1. Libby Says:

    I wonder the same thing about objects that prompt memories or photos. I am not so lucky as to be able to recall all my memories vividly. Sometimes I look at a photo and can’t remember that instance.

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