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Posts from the ‘writing’ Category


Indira Ganesan, Incoming Tide, 2017

Indira Ganesan, See Two? 2017

November, for me, is a month of transition.  The surprise and delight of fall leaves on the Cape has given over to a duller gleam today, a more muted beauty.  Just a few days ago, the vividness of the trees and skies left me breathless, in the northern light that strikes here around four or five in the afternoon.  Soon, the days will get colder still, the leaves will blow off the trees, and winter will arrive.  In between, bookended by Halloween and Thanksgiving, candles are lit, and the last harvest celebrated.  I find myself lately melancholic, after an absurdly warn autumn, to see the sun shine bright, yet the wind too chilly.  Maybe it is a gardener’s bane, these days when the last flowering plants days are numbered, and the stakes lifted to be stored.  I have embarked on a house clearing, better suited to spring when windows can be open to let in fresh breeze.  Now, it is all pollen and dust and chill.  Yes: soup, tea, roasting vegetables, but I confess I’m only steady with one: tea, milky with sugar.  Living on the coast, in a beach town, the tide offers a good example of transition, especially at the salt marshes.  Here, we can see the way the vegetation richly comes alive with the water, and how it becomes parched without.  I recommend, for a wonderful look into the ways of life on Cape Cod, writer Robert Finch, whose latest volume is called The Outer Beach.

The other day I walked without expectation, and looking up, saw a rainbow, merging out of a cloud break.  There was no arch, just the rainbow palette of all seven colors melding into one another, in a sphere.  I had no phone-camera to capture the image, but googling, I discovered that my use of the word palette was not unique, and that the more technical term is iridescence, or irisation, caused, as radio Earth Sky reporter Deborah Byrd explains, is formed by tiny crystals of water droplets in the cloud. No matter what name the phenomena, what an apt metaphor for  the hidden pleasures in seasons of change.



Indira Ganesan, Wind, 2017

Indira Ganesan, Storm Tide, 2017






Lonliness and Solitary Art


Moon Rising

Lonliness can crop up most unexpectedly.  It will throw a dart at you unexpectedly. After days of being solitary, for instance, happily reading, researching, and writing, feeling fortunate for living on Cape Cod where Jose  produced wind and rain, a little loss of power, but not much more.  There were six days of grey weather, but this morning, though the sea was covered in fog,  the sun was out.  Then, there it came, just a general feeling of missing family, and time stretching out, and a sense of what have I not accomplished.  You know this mood, which is not based on reality, but might be a combination of low sugar, and working by oneself.  You know the mood will pass, it always does, and in my fifties, it passes much more quickly. But here like a beacon came my cat, circling my feet, purring, and begging to be picked up.  I did, and ate dinner, cheered.

I had made a simple summer squash stir-fry with rice.  I was going to add a tomato, but the tomato was full of sprouting seeds.  This is a process called vouvray–no, I  joke–let me look it up–it is called vivipary, and the seedlings can be planted to produce tomato plants,  if it wasn’t about to be October, or if  you had a greenhouse.  Dinner and research. Here are some recommendations: this movie; this book; this music, all of which was recommended to me by family and friends.  Now, please go eat something and do some research.




Not Teaching

I still my check my mailbox for a last minute call, but no, it looks like I will not be teaching this semester.  All the regular profs are back on campus, returned from sabbatical and guest posts, leaving me with a free fall. Pun intended.  Yet, not quite accurate.  I’ve got some writing to do, and a little travel, too.  Still, how strange not have felt the general anxiety over the booklist (wanting to change everything at the last minute), the chagrin that not all the typos on the syllabus were caught, and frantic scheduling of office hours to coincide with bus schedules. O the commute!  No more six hours of travel, no more skipping lunch for a big dinner once home, no more grabbing snacks at Starbucks( I’ll take those almonds too.)

I find I am sitting on the balcony, staring into space, recharging unconsciously.  The garden does not need tending.  I vacuum, wash dishes, do the laundry, scold my cat for jumping onto the tv.  Why does she do it again and again?  Has she decided that in fact this is her “playtime”? I am clearing the cobwebs, cleaning the windows, reading and taking notes.

My father had a government job once.  On the first day (let’s say it was his first day) he retrieved the mail.  An hour or two later, he had opened and answred everything, and taken care of the tasks requested of him. He went to his boss, and asked for more to do.

“What about the mail?” asked his boss.

“I did it already.”

“What! Today is only Monday.  Listen, you are new to the way we work.  You get the mail on Monday, and on Tuesday, you answer a letter; and on Wednesday, answer the next letter; and so on until the week is done!”

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