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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Silence is Golden

 A whole flock of goldfinches is spending the winter in my front yard. When they're not at the long feeder hanging at the edge of the woods, they're here in the shelf feeder right outside my living room window. Tufted titmice (?), little black capped chickadees, and beautiful sparrows with dots of gold feathers around their beaks are the other regulars, supplemented on stormy days by cardinals and even a bold Jay who announces his presence with a loud caw.

And on one special day there came this pretty pink house finch. We don't see many of them, though they're common enough around here. Just a little shy. Here in my un-raked front yard they are perfectly camouflaged.

Of course no wintry feeding station is complete without marauding squirrels - which I rather like, just so long as they don't chew through the porch screen and the plastic lidded bins to eat sunflower seeds. Unfortunately, they do, so this year I have a metal lidded garbage can that I'm keeping in the front yard.

Goldfinches aren't the only golden thing around TheCastle this week. There is also Golden Silence, since TheQueen has been felled by the twin -itisses: bronchitis and laryngitis. The one struck on Sunday, when I was too sick to even knit!! The other blow fell on Monday and on Tuesday I hied me to the doctor who made my life better with chemistry. Bottles of pills later I am feeling somewhat human, though my voice remains but a faint croak ... or would do so if I were so foolish as to try to talk. I have a laptop for communicating lengthy prosy thoughts to ThePrince - who is truly a prince and is reading Ivanhoe to me.

How can it be that I let nearly 60 years go by without reading Sir Walter Scott? I believe it was because I didn't want to struggle with the rich tapestry of high flown pseudo romantic language. Having immersed myself in Dickens at 11, I have never since felt like wallowing in complex compound sentences unless I was writing them myself. I will admit, there are some fairly blooming sentences in Scott's prose, but he never loses the thread of  the story, which is great fun. I can clearly see the foundation of all my favorite swashbuckling knightly historical novels in his noble work.

It struck me today, that the reason these novelists of previous centuries were so wordy is because they didn't have an audience primed by vivid moving visuals the way modern authors do. Think on this: The average person has seen castles attacked, buildings collapse, babies born, lavish balls where gallants squire fair damoiselles, train crashes, safes cracked open, gunfights, ships sink - even wizards' and witches' wands perform magic- all this before she is 10 years old! Who needs lengthy descriptions when she already carries the images in her mind? Can't she get the highlights in 180 pages or at most, 360 and use her filofax of celluloid memories to plug in the necessary visual?

Like the Book? Buy it Now!More books are filling in when ThePrince is otherwise occupied. I'm just at the end of my annual visit with my beloved Betsy-Tacy series - which I pick up every November, right after Thanksgiving. I am also reading Expecting Adam, by another, albeit more recent, favorite author, Martha Beck. Though I only discovered her a year ago I am an avid fan. We aren't much alike, she and I. She's very intense and expresses herself in superlatives. Her swings are much wider than I can imagine living with and to have submitted to the pressure to please others as completely as she once did is really unimaginable. And yet - from those wild powerful impassioned depths she has written a truly magical story about carrying and mothering a child with Down Syndrome. I had to borrow it via Inter-library loan but I am adding it to the collection even if I have to track it down on the used book market. It's a treasure. Kept me up till 3 am. last night.

Yes. There is knitting news. I'm stitching the last ball of yarn into the skirt portion of my dress. After that I'll take a picture - or I may finish off the sleeves first. What this dress really needs now is a good wet block. It's as lumpy as an orange peel. And my goodness! are there a lot of ends to darn in. No wonder this yarn was so cheap at Elann. Every ball has had a knot it it and some had them in multiples. Isn't it a good thing I like darning in ends? Each darn is like a final pat goodbye to a beloved knitting project.

I'm not going back to work until I can actually talk - so, with Monday being a holiday, that means I'll be here 5 languorous days with nothing to do but knit and read and nap. Doesn't that sound heavenly?

1 comment:

  1. I am glad that you are, at last, on the mend. Bugs like that are not to be trifled with. A lovely time to be curled up with things, and people, you love! Enjoy!