Peter Hitchens Muses on the Wind
His latest post at The Lamp's blog is a jewel:
What is it about the wind? When I am watching some piece of ancient black-and-white archive film, imprisoned in the time when it was made, a gust of wind will lift a person’s hair or shake the trees in the background, and the whole thing will spring to fierce life. For the moment when the wind blows, it is freed from the past and is happening now. I do not know why. It just is so.
Something similar happens when the wind comes into poetry or prose....
It's not very long, but read it when you're not distracted and are at liberty to take it slowly. As those who have read this blog for a while know, I live on the hurricane coast and am all too well acquainted with truly terrible and dangerous winds. Yet even at times when I've lain in the dark wondering if a tree was going to fall on the house, or the roof come off, I couldn't help feeling, in addition to the fear, a degree of awe bordering on admiration. And I've been close enough to a tornado to hear it, and have seen the damage. Hitchens notes
I was once on a train between Denver, Colorado and Omaha, Nebraska, halted for hours by tornadoes. The small towns through which we crept, when we at last moved, looked as if they had been visited by war.
That's no exaggeration. After one tornado in Huntsville, Alabama, in 1989, I went to help with the cleanup. I saw, among other things, cars that had been picked up and dropped upside down, completely flattening the top, or right-side up, warping the wheels. Not the tires, the solid steel wheels. A wind that can pick up a car and throw it around.
A couple of other things worth looking at on the web:
Slant Books is doing some great things. Among their recent offerings is a collection of three plays by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The title play is about a family of Elizabethan recusant Catholics who...well, here's the description:
Shakeshafte imagines an encounter between a young sixteenth century Englishman with a faintly familiar surname and an undercover Jesuit missionary. Two visions of how words change the world collide and converge and slip away again.
You can read an excerpt here. Also, at this link, you can register for a December 28 online book launch for Shakeshafte which will include performance of a scene from the title play and a Q&A with Williams.
The Friday Links at the Dappled Things blog usually include some interesting stuff. In this case it's all of them. I haven't watched that video about the hermit yet but I intend to. I wonder where Liechtenstein is.
Not so sure I want to read the entire piece by the young women who says "Over time, though, I outgrew the conversion narrative as a genre." Yeah, I hear you. I'm pretty sick of the one I wrote.
A friend who has similar tastes (for instance, she live Other People's Lives-how many people have even heard of that?) highly recommended Katy Carl's book, so I will probably read that.
Posted by: Janet | 12/19/2021 at 06:24 AM
I know what you mean about the wind. Even after having a tree fall on the house, I enjoy a big windy storm, but with a bit of apprehension that I didn't have before.
I also love walking in a wind that just short of being able to push me around.
Posted by: Janet | 12/19/2021 at 06:46 AM
I do too and have been out in mild hurricane winds that very definitely pushed me around. It was fun but just a tad short of being really scary, close enough that I felt like if it was just a bit stronger it could pick me up and throw me. The sense of being on the edge of losing control was kind of shocking. It was fun to lean into it far enough that I would have fallen over without the wind pushing back.
I have Katy Carl’s novel but haven’t started reading it yet.
Posted by: Mac | 12/19/2021 at 09:54 AM
"I have Katy Carl’s novel but haven’t started reading it yet. "
In my semi-distracted state I thought it had said, "I love Katy Carl’s novel but haven’t started reading it yet."
Posted by: Robert Gotcher | 12/20/2021 at 06:14 AM
I think some reviewers work that way.
Posted by: Mac | 12/20/2021 at 09:59 AM