A fine day. The…

A fine day. The fog has begun to roll in again in the evenings, staying till sometime in the mornings, a sure sign that it’s hot as an oven inland, for that’s what pulls the ocean mists in. After twelve years in San Francisco I’m still not used to it: dense condensation forming ominously over the Pacific as the temperatures rise at sea, the Central Valley stoking itself up until it’s hot enough to bake biscuits in your garage, then all that ocean fog getting sucked in by the valley heat through San Francisco Bay, and our mountaintop is at the center of it. Yet still it surprises me: after a long wet winter, perhaps a couple of weeks of sunshine in autumn and a couple more in spring, and I feel it must soon be warm, time for ice cream and T-shirts and cool bottles of beer after working in the yard. But it is not to be. Summer here, even more than winter often enough, is the season for mufflers and heavy coats. Well, just about.

I’m doing some fun reading. Just finished Hémon’s ‘Marie Chapdelaine’, about early twentieth century Quebeccois rustics in the forests near Lake St. John, which I’ve now read at least three times. And I’m re-exploring Oliver La Farge’s rather magical ‘Beyond the Mountains’, about the remote Spanish village and vast ranch in the mountains east of Santa Fé where his wife’s family lived for centuries. Then there’s ‘Roots and Wings: Poetry from Spain 1900-1975’, a bilingual anthology, something I pick up every couple of years and enjoy more than I can say. Am writing poems again, oddly enough, two new ones in as many days, one English, one Spanish. I found the latter easier to write, and I may put it into English sometime soon, though I think it would not benefit much from such an effort. It’s about an ancient lady cooking tortillas and considering how, in the course of her long life, there have been some drastic changes in her attitudes toward time. I really prefer writing poems in Spanish. It seems much more natural to me, somehow.

7:12 p.m. and the sun is still bright on the mountainside across from the front of the house. Vast eucalyptus trees, soon to be felled, alas, intermingling each other’s branches and swaying rhythmically in the breeze. Dogs are quiet at last. They really do conk out after dinner, I find, and to my great relief. Doggy day care must make room for books or movies during these hours. That’s just the way it is. 


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