Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Sunday, 22 August 2004

I'm back. We'd been gone to Kalamazoo so Jackie could attend the Michigan Fiber Festival. We got back this afternoon.

Lots of good stuff. It was good to see my Dad and Katy. We brought Barbara, so she got to see my home town (we took her around to see the house where I grew up and my elementary school).

One place we went was Hillside Junior High, where I attended for seventh grade, before we moved to the woods. Someone had modified the sign. It was a minimal modification--the first I in Hillside already had the top and bottom cross-strokes of the I. The modifier simply added a short stroke that projected to the right from the center of the vertical stroke of the I, turning it into an E.

I thought it was hilarious. My dad took a couple pictures. If they turn out, I'll post one.

We spent a day doing stuff in Kalamazoo. Besides visiting various places downtown, we went to a talk at the rare book room at Waldo library, and then had dinner at Bilbo's (my favorite pizza place in the world).

Sunday we went to the Fiber Festival itself. Jackie was moderately restrained in her purchases. (We were able to fit everything in the car and get it home.)

This morning I went for a run down the Kal-Haven trail. Jackie came too. The plan was that Jackie would walk and I would run ahead until I'd gone 3 miles, at which point I'd turn around and run back until got back to where Jackie was, at which point she'd turn around and we'd walk back to the car together. I hoped that would add up to about 4 miles. When I'd gone about 2.5 miles, though, I realized that from where I rejoined Jackie, we'd be 2 miles from the car. That wouldn't be a difficult walk, but it would take quite a while. So, I turned back a little early and probably only ran 3.5 miles all together. Still, I managed about 13 miles for the week, which is about where I want to be. Between weather, bicycling, and general busy-ness, I'd been falling short in the running distance the past couple of weeks.

One place we went on Saturday was to the Little Cities Gallery (which, astonishingly, doesn't seem to have a web page). They had a great exchange exhibit of contemporary Japanese woodblock prints together with some contemporary American prints as a counterpoint. There was some great work there. I particularly liked one of a great horned owl.

It's too dark to see anything in the woods at night, almost always. Except: if there's a bright moon, and the canopy isn't too thick, and your eyes are adapted to the dark, and you happen to be looking just the right direction, then you can see an owl. I've seen an owl appear out of the darkness, fly silently overhead, and vanish as soon as it's a few yards away. This artist had obviously seen one too. In the woodcut, the owl was perfectly detailed, but still barely visible against the forest background. Just the way I remember it.


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