After another excursion – this time to Canada – I am determined to get back into a blogging rhythm without letting weeks slide by. That’ll be tricky, however, as K. removed the video card that eliminated many of the summer’s computer glitches, in order to give it back to C. (whom he pilfered it from in the first place).
Can’t stop myself from typing this observation — The city of Montreal, right smack in the Latin Quarter, is more quiet on a Thursday in the middle of the day, than Newton Center (where I live) is at 7:08 on a Sunday morning.
I know they are rushing to finish to elementary school renovations (why exactly did they wait until mid-August to seriously get to work?!), and that it will be over soon — but it is tiresome, this invasion of noise. And it has been all summer long — between road repairs, Route 9 development, tree care, and the endless rounds of lawn crews.
After finishing “Freedom” and wondering, “Who WRITES a book like this?” I couldn’t help but order Franzen’s memoir from Amazon – “The Discomfort Zone“. In one passage he describes how much easier it is to tolerate noise in NYC, because you expect it, whereas the assault of sound in the suburbs rankles. I couldn’t agree more! I hate, too, having all the windows closed for whole swaths of a day, especially when the air is as fresh and cool as it is today — just to keep the noise down. (BTW, the memoir goes a long way to understanding “Freedom”).
Speaking of books, moments ago I finished Kevin Barry’s dystopian novel of West Ireland, “City of Bohane“. Fantastic! “Rip snorting” says one blurb, and I couldn’t agree more. For one thing, I absolutely loved his devotion to describing his characters’ outfits. Sprinkled throughout the book is the line “He wore:” followed by detailed descriptions of clothing in a new paragraph (fanciful, wild, colorful clothing). The book has a Clockwork Orange feel, but distinctly Irish.
Finished this book about a month ago: “Forging Freedom“. First half read like a PhD thesis, but I really enjoyed the second half where the author highlights two particular women. As a scholarly treatise about freed black women in Charleston before the Civil War, it is informative. I am learning that in Charleston, one of the nation’s first cities and one with a huge population of African Americans in its early years, there existed a surprising variety of statuses for black people. Not that gaining manumission was easy, nor could it be counted on to be permanent in any way shape or form, but there was more fluidity than one might expect, and certainly more than one might find in other parts of the country at the same time. Myers notes that a Northerner landing on a Charleston Wharf in the antebellum years would have been surprised to see the black artisans, shopkeepers, hawkers, seamstresses, inn keepers, pastry chefs, etc., who were ‘free’ and going about their business.Back to fabric tomorrow. I’m adding pickets to the ‘Trayvon Martin quilt’. And more red. And more moons. I have pretty much decided it does not belong on the pieced rectangle made up of the ‘Middle Passage’ scraps.
* There are two local pix, actually — the quilts above; and the backside of the bleachers further up.
Canada looks vast…or perhaps that was just on-the-road shots…and you remind me of how much I love open windows and air flow…and how much I miss reading which has become tiresome with the cataract vision. I love those cloths.
Canada is vast and I had the opportunity this trip (because we were at a B&B – other couples from Toronto) to learn just how vast (and how little I know about the geography)…. the land before you get to the St. Lawrence River has that big sky and broad shoulder of earth you see in the pix – very different from the hills of Vermont.
I saw you got your glasses fixed, Michelle, but not enough to ease ‘the peepers’ (as Kevin Barry would say) for reading? I’m sorry to hear that because I know what a wordsmith you are.
Hi Dee — I read Freedom but it’s been a while and now I don’t remember how I felt about it. Should make yea or nay notes on my book list. I always like and appreciate a little book talk in a post! xo