far too much writing, far too many photos

The weather continues its return to more normal patterns after a dry, beautiful summer — rain’s fallen on and off since yesterday evening, the sky gray, the air soft, the temperature mild. Mist drifts slowly down the valley, wisps trailing up toward the overcast sky. The leaves continue their slow turning.

J. stopped by earlier in the day, bringing her dog, a three or four-year-old Australian shepherd. There are plenty of critters around here, but none are sanctioned to live in the space with me apart from the occasional spider. The sudden presence of a substantial-sized animal — bright, friendly, inquisitive -– changed the feel of the space completely. Plus, there’s now extra padding on the furniture in the form of dog hair — a small price to pay for the entertainment provided by the hair donor.

She’s a classic dog -– fundamentally happy, living right in the moment, chasing tossed balls with unstoppable joy and enthusiasm (and when her teeth punctured one, she had just as much fun carrying around its deflated corpse, shaking it, chewing on it), wanting to be right in the middle of whatever activity’s taking place. A superb role model in terms of demonstrating how to enjoy life minute by minute.

Good, clean fun. I’ve also continued getting to know my new computer, to this point a largely trouble-free process. It’s begun sinking in that I can play DVDs on the bugger, which today led me to inflict the first 45 or so minutes of The Matrix on J. This is a film I’ve seen far too many times (never in the theater, I’m sorry to say — always on DVD), especially certain sequences. During my time in Madrid, as part of my preparation for a stage acting gig, I bought a DVD player to study three or four examples of a certain actor’s work. DVDs, it turns out, are tailor-made for that kind of thing. No rewind, no fast-forward, at least not like with VHS — the ability to move forward or back in a film, or to pause/re-run a certain sequence, is nearly miraculous. This is old news, I know — I’m just appreciating it all over again. Bear with me.

I sold my DVD player just before I left Madrid in April, though I hung on to two or three DVDs, which made the trip back with me from Spain. Until I picked up this ‘puter, I had nothing to play them on. Now it’s time to party once more.

The single weird note in the day came from reading through documents being prepared for a mid-October court hearing, a matter that’s been in process for four years and now seems to be moving toward its wind-up. The kind of matter that inspired Dickens to write Bleak House, one whose conclusion and disappearance will feel very good.

At the commencement of this brouhaha, around 3-1/2 years ago, I functioned as the liaison between our attorney and the various parties on our side of the issue -– my brother and three of our cousins. At some point along the way, probably just before I left for Madrid in the summer of 2000, my brother took as the point-person. Man, it was a joy to release that bugger to someone else. I’m not sure I realized I needed to be liberated, but once I was I felt the difference immediately and never looked back. The matter became something that only intruded on my existence now and then until just recently, with this hearing coming up. I look forward to waving a happy good-bye to it all.

I’m alone in the house as I write this, no lights of any sort visible through the windows — just darkness. The only sound I can hear apart from the clicking of my fingers on the computer keyboard is the music of crickets and their compatriots in the grass and bushes outside. A nice kind of solitude which will only be interrupted by a phone call or two. At least until 9 o’clock, when the mayhem of the Sopranos will break the quiet.

Then on to the coming week.

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