Selasa, 29 Juli 2008

Always on my Mind

It wasn't so long ago that I wrote "Goodbye to the Unicycle" (see post from May 21, 2008), but on Sunday I saw this in the New York Times. Surely I could ride a unicycle down the sidewalk if others can ride one down a mountain. I can't put this to rest.

Senin, 28 Juli 2008


We went berry hunting, but we were just a little early. We only picked this much, which turned out to be about 1 1/3 cups. Enough for a batch of muffins. There will be more berries, and more picking, in a couple of weeks.

Into the River

The Road Goes On Forever

Here is my favorite place to run. Thad likes it too.
Here is my favorite two-track. It's a hot stretch, but the lake feels great when you get back.

Senin, 21 Juli 2008

More Interlochen Pictures

More practice rooms...


I had a trip to Interlochen last weekend. Tommy and I left early Friday morning and came back yesterday. It's a special place full of little stone practice huts scattered in the woods, along with many cabins, fire rings, clotheslines, red socks, blue socks, and music...such great music floating around. We stayed in a small cabin which Interlochen lodging staffers had described as "rustic" and "musty." I suppose it was both, but it felt luxurious when it rained on Saturday afternoon. My friend Karin is teaching there this summer, and it was good to see her and sip coffee together in the morning by the lake. We heard the Interlochen Symphony Band and the World Youth Wind Symphony in a combined program which included Frank Ticheli's arrangement of Shenandoah and David Maslanka's Mother Earth. Those were probably the highlights of the concert for me. It's just so great to think of a whole group of kids learning Shenandoah and carrying that music inside them forever. Maslanka's music is wonderful and distinctive, and such a natural fit for Interlochen. We also saw the Golden Dragon Acrobats. As I watched them juggle tables with their feet, twist into previously unknown configurations, and leap, flip and fly, I drifted into a fuzzy place and wondered if I was watching eels or octopuses or a new Pixar animation film. They were amazing.

We drove a little out of the way on the way up so we could stop at Crystal Mountain and try the alpine slide. It's similar to a tobaggon run, but it's made out of molded platic, pieced together in sections. It was certainly fun, but a little too much like a theme park. There are two slides which twist down the slope side-by-side, about three feet apart, for 1,600 feet. The three feet between the tracks is filled with sick looking grass, which, guessing by the chemical odor which hung in the air, must be doused regularly with herbicide to keep the weeds down. On his last ride down, Tommy ran over a chipmunk. He admitted this with a mixture of embarrassment and disgust, hands shoved in his pockets. Someone else overheard him and said, "Oh! I hit it first!" She was screeching with laughter, and then her whole family was screeching with laughter, and I could only think of the blue-tongued mango vole in Carl Hiaasen's Native Tongue. The alpine slide would fit right in the Amazing Kingdom. I'm sure it is dismantled in the winter. Maybe somebody in Florida would like it. I think I like Crystal Mountain much better in January.

Senin, 14 Juli 2008

Monday Thoughts

Today I sorted through a few old boxes of papers I needed to sort through. I threw out a satisfying amount of things in those old boxes. I returned library books, and I sat down at the kitchen table to pay bills, reply to invitations that had been sitting on the dining room table, and make reservations at various places. On Sunday I did laundry and weeded and worked on a poem. The weeding and the work on the poem were very similar. Both amounted to a great deal of editing. I had beautiful things that had to come out. These things are hard to pull, but as I yanked wild geraniums in the garden I gained a certain resolve to slash excessive passages in the poem.

Last Thursday, Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane and Richard Ford appeared together at the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center for "A Michigan Author Homecoming." Thad and I went, and it was a fine conversation to hear. Harrison was uproarious and irreverent, Ford was earnest, thoughtful and funny, and McGuane was a great storyteller. People were sitting in the aisles, and when the three walked out on stage together there was this really visceral moment of shared appreciation and a great swell of applause. It was electric.

I'm off to the park with Tommy now.