Thursday, July 21, 2011

General Doings...

It's Thursday and incredibly hot, a fact we have been unfailingly alerted to and reminded of by the news for the past week. I can look out our living room window, from where I'm writing this post and see trees and haze. The ciccadas are screaming, so that (according to popular lore) means there are only six more weeks of this hard-to-breathe, quick-to-sweat searing thickness. We hope. To heal my broiled (and now perspiration-drenched) spirit, I envision approaching surf and cooling breezes. Happy place, yes. 
O Fallen Angel
Kate Zambreno's
first novel, O Fallen

Kate Zambreno's wonderful blog (like this post or this one) always reconnects me with what it means to be a writer. She is a thinking writer, an intellectual, very analytical, but also forceful in her emotion, and sometimes her uncertainty. At her blog are the best three parts of humanity: head, heart, soul. More on her new book Green Girl very soon...

What I worked on from 7:33 A.M. until about 11:30 today is "Conceived in the New Liberty", a fictional commentary on how easily we might allow our rights be dismantled. I'm happy that it's flowing pretty steadily.  During my daily hour of penance on the exercise machines in the basement, I flip between HLN, CNN, and Fox (all three are on consecutive stations on our cable box) to get a feel for the tenor and language used to deal with contemporary issues. My perceptions are, in part, what spurred my Two Minutes Hate post on Tuesday.

Lapith fighting a Centaur
Metope from The Parthenon

I may have mentioned this before, but I finished the Lord Elgin story, which I retitled "The Metope Prophecy." A 'metope' is a  decorative architectural element, a carved spacer in a freize that usually appears between fluted trigylphs. On the Parthenon, there are 92 metopes. Many of these are what Elgin brought back to England to sell to the British Museum.

If you remember this post and the excerpt it contains (all the way at the posts' bottom), here is the paragraph that follows it:

"The image haunted him the following morning, even though he’d had other, less vividly remembered dreams afterward. He knew he could not save Phidias’ immense Athena. She was already lost. The military leader, Lachares, had used the gold plates that comprised the goddess’ drapery to mint coins to pay his troops in the third century before Christ. Resplendent then in copper and ivory, she survived two fires before disappearing with the rise of the Ottoman Empire. So, as he sipped at the dark brew that passed for coffee while his wife moved sulkily in her chair down the long table, he began to think of the statue’s plea in metaphorical terms. It is a message, he thought, staring at a triangle of buttered toast. I’m supposed to rescue what is still there." -- from "The Metope Prophecy" 

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