The weather is suddenly sultry again, yet the light is autumn light . . . dusky mornings and early sunsets, and now the maples are beginning to turn red, the garden flowers beginning to fade. The yard looks like October but feels like August.
Yesterday I carted a bunch of musical instruments to the high school, as donations for the music program--two guitars, a banjo, an amp, all of which I used extensively when I was a school music teacher but haven't touched since. Clearly the violin is the only instrument I will ever be serious about. I thought I would be ashamed of myself, but really I was relieved.
In similar news, I have started reading an Agatha Christie novel that I found on my son's bookshelf when I was packing up his stuff. I haven't read a Christie mystery for 30 years or so, and I am finding it strangely soothing, despite the fact that the characters are irritating stereotypes (the coarse, violent Italian man; the prim governess; the stupid voluble middle-aged American woman . . . ). I'm pretty sure that this is not a good book in the disguise of a friendly mystery novel. I think it really is trash and that that I am too distracted right now to be a good reader of real books. Thus, a silly plot-driven train story is easier to manage than the great Penelope Fitzgerald novel I pulled off the shelf to reread. I'm also having problems with my book of Australian history, which I was so excited about. It has begun to self-destruct, and I'm finding it hard to manage a 700-page paperback when all of the pages are falling out. I think I will have to acquire a new copy after we move.
All this is to say: I wonder what kind of participant I will be in our communal Geoffrey Hill poetry-reading project. Overall, I feel quite stupid.