What I See (13), by Karen Joy Fowler

Wed 30 Mar 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

What I See, part 13 by Karen Joy Fowler

The song in my head today is all about Japan. “Ue o muite, arukou, namida ga kobore naiyo-o-uni.” It’s the only Japanese I know.

This from my buddy, Tim Sandlin in an email:

I don’t know the proper response to all the end of the world stuff. Sometimes I’m petrified into emotional catatonia. I’ve always tried to picture what the average citizen felt in 1938 Germany, how they could have let what was happening happen? Now I sort of see it. You get up and have coffee and get dressed and try to figure out what else you can be doing, other than loving and protecting your family. Then it all gets out of hand.

Here’s what I’m doing while it all gets out of hand: walking the dog. We’ve had a whole week of heavy wind and rain here. Huge trees upended. Small birds flung against the windows. The waves have been enormous and the beaches, while not closed, have been posted with warnings to stay out of the water. The dog beach is covered in crashing, roiling foam. I don’t know if this could still be caused by the tsunami, or just the winter storms, or possibly the super moon that we never saw, stuffed as the whole city was into a sock of clouds.

Yesterday was flying nun weather and MJ and I fought for every step. There was a kayak competition at Steamer Lane and it was sadder than it was inspiring to see the kayaks working so hard against the wind and water for so little headway.

Today we started in the rain, but walked into clear weather and a blue sky above. Natural Bridges State Park was closed due to weather, but we ducked the gate and went in only to find the road blocked by trees the storm had felled. By the time we turned around, the gate had been seriously augmented with tape; getting out was much harder than getting in.

On the way back I could see the dark sky ahead and we hit the rain again. There was something magical about the act of walking out of one weather system and into another. Like I was slipping through a door into a different dimension. It reminded me of an afternoon when I was small girl in Indiana. I was playing with some kids across the street from my house, and we saw a rainstorm coming toward us down the Ballantine hill. I made for home and, like some superhero, outran the rain, which hit just as I ducked under the porch overhang. I don’t have a lot of superhero moments in my life so I tend to remember them.

MJ ate some grass that she immediately threw up. It’s a thing she does. But today was the day she, usually so reserved and diffident, decided to extend the paw of friendship. She bounded up to everyone we passed, demented strands of vomitous grass poking out from her mouth, streaks of green dribbled down her chin. She got a mixed response. I blame the moon.

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Karen is also moderating the Tiptree Book Club .


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