Field of flung lines.

After dinner--but before one of my newer neighbors started cooking something that smells so delicious that I have had to close my window, lest I should start desiring a second meal--I took the camera and strode out to the fields beyond the college, making up for not having had a ramble since Saturday. The temperature continues hovering in the high 50s and low 60s here, and things are fairly quiet out in this little corner of ours. Rabbits heard me crunching along the path and fled as though they were certain I was coming for them. Giant birds waited until the last possible second to take off. The sun was still high, even though it was after 8 when I headed out.

I walked as far as I believe I'm legally allowed to walk (though the farmer whose field is usually gated off would seem to have left his gate open so long that grass has grown up all around it--suggesting that I could probably have claimed ignorance had I wandered down his deep-rutted road and been found out), and then I started back, the lowering sun over my left shoulder. By the time I made it into the field closest to the college--the field from which my friends and I waited for the moon last week--I was walking back into the sunlight itself, and even in the late evening I could feel my shoulders warming. I turned to take yet another picture of the slowly setting sun, and that's when I realized that the whole field of low grass behind me was woven with spider webs, filament after filament laced over the land. And they were all glowing, all a-spark, golden-green and backlit by the sun.

In a sign of something, today I tried packing one box of clothes, just to see how much I could fit in that box that brought my quilts and sweaters to me last fall. As my friends leave, I start thinking about how I'm going to leave--the mechanics, that is, of getting these things out of here and back home. Soon I will be at the post office, packing ridiculously light boxes of books so that they qualify for the printed matter sent-by-sea rates. The only time I really think that something like the Kindle is a good idea is when I need to ship or carry books long distances. (Then again, if they made something like a Kindle that looked even slightly cool, I know myself well enough to know that I'd probably want one.)

Then, looking at someone's Flickr stream of pictures taken from a car on a highway, my brain went haywire, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. White lines, car on right side of line: car passing? Which is the slow lane? If I work hard, I can figure it out: if people pass ("overtake") on the right here, then the slow lane must be the right back at home, and we must pass on the left. But it's been ten months since I've driven a car, and my body has taken over the reverse directions necessary to do things like cross the street or look out the window during cab rides here. It was no problem to drive when I returned home in 1996, but that year I'd been home at Christmas and had driven then. I'm anticipating a set of startles when I return this time: both that my body will immediately know what to do, behind the wheel of the car I've been driving since that last return, and also that I won't be able to believe that it still remembers, when my intellect seems not to--for now anyway.

So go my days: from the sublime to the banal, in barely an hour.