Words cold enough to congeal

Published 7:29 am Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Antiphanes said merrily that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer. — Plutarch

The above saying was sent to me by a good friend Joyce Hawkins who currently lives in Hawaii and now the words that were “congealed as soon as spoken” are free to be and it isn’t even summer yet officially. I’m not sure it was that cold for the words here to be “congealed” this past winter. It just felt like it lasted forever.

I met Joyce when she was tending bar at the Haleiwa Sands. Joyce was originally from Osseo or maybe it was Plymouth. Wherever it was I drove up there and met with her for coffee a couple years ago and some “talking story.” Joyce is a tall American girl and she was married to Aki, a short Filipino. Aki died several years ago and now there is, or least was a special man again in her life. Now Joyce delivers mail and occasionally sends me small pieces of rust from Oahu. Joyce likes to travel. She too traveled to Prague and sent me a few small stones from the “old country.” I believe she too is facing forty twenty-five or perhaps has faced it.

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Another hometown friend, Marv Dauer who already knows what it feels like called today from somewhere in Los Angeles with a scoop. Marv is an agent who recently suffered through the writer’s strike. He called then and described the hardship that strike was causing spreading out to waiters with no money coming in. The scoop, according to Marv, is that Hollywood is looking at another strike between the producers and the screen actor’s guild coming June 30. Marv said they are not even talking and Monday the actors were rallying. Marv is saying they can’t make any studio films now because studio film can’t get insurance and can’t promise they will be done by June 30. Marv also added that actors want better residuals and a cut from the Internet.

I asked if actors could work in other locations such as London or Prague (I didn’t say Prague-I just threw that in for all the Bohemians) and Marv said the producers would lock them out. So as Lee Bonorden would say, you heard it here first.

And now the graduations, get the house ready, get the garage cleaned up and discard all those precious old odds and ends that mean so much to me. The old quiver I carry my even older golf clubs in was emptied and the contents transferred to a new golf bag our son Casey won in the putting event of the fundraiser last week for Riverland. He awarded it to me. I transferred my old, some of them wooden clubs, to the new bag creating anxiety upon the clubs and me.

I golfed in the fundraiser with Casey. He uses modern clubs and he hits the balls farther than I thought a golf ball could fly. He tells me that today’s clubs helps move the ball along and that seemed to lift my spirit. We joined up with Paul and Aaron from Accentra Credit Union. I wasn’t certain which one was which but one of them hit a ball that went higher into the sky then I had ever seen. Practically straight up. They were fun and playful. The rain joined us the last few holes. In Hawaii the rains are referred to as a blessing. I don’t know if that holds true on the golf course.

At home getting rid of some books has been my assignment these past few days. When I was in school it was hard to find a book anywhere near me, even textbooks. Part of that could be the lack of joy and wonder in reading textbooks.

Then on Monday the mail carrier dropped off Carol Bly’s first novel: “Shelter Half.” Mary Pipher, author of “Writing to Change the World” says, “Carol writes in a way that entertains us even as it fosters our moral imaginations.”

Unfortunately Carol Bly is no longer with us. Fortunately her books are. Still my favorite short story is R”enee: A War Story” included in “My Lord Bag of Rice.”

I would like to close with the words of Basho,

The clouds come and go

providing a rest for all

the moon viewers