This ship of state — this self-obsessed, rusting hulk of retired newspaperman — steadied the moment I felt the stillness of the coming autumn air. IMG_3111 2

No pain this morning, only a sense of the gentle season ahead. I put out fresh water for scrub jays, finches, titmouses and Texas antelope squirrels, grateful that the rattlesnakes and I avoided a water trough rendezvous.

We encountered a bull snake the day before, approaching the house from our morning walk. Our big, brown dog friend, Sara, who was bitten by a rattler a few years back and later went to rattlesnake avoidance school with Cowboy, darted for the door as soon as she saw the just-as-frightened reptile writhe away. All good signs.

My first sight after the orange and blue and salmon sunrise today was Cowboy, lying across my chest to look out the window, my mixed herder pal monitoring indoor and outdoor movement at the same time

The wheels started turning as a I poured dark-roasted coffee into my red cup. I remember that the last two words I scribbled in a notebook last night were coffee and basil, the start of a grocery list. Sitting in the dark, reading on the iPad before going to bed, I managed to gavel Supreme Court nominations out of my head. But my last Google search was “blogging as a literary form.”

I nodded off wondering: Do I really have any interest in reading other people’s blogs? I’m not talking about websites with essays or thoughtful reports, like Larry Calloway’s Crestone Conglomerate. I read essays and history. I have less interest in whims of the day, at least those other than mine.

I know that my own website — or blog as even my friends invariably call it — has been a handy vehicle for a lot of flotsam, like autobiographical junk. I remember the Paris Review interview with Annie Proulx, when she was asked if she missed a boat by starting to write later in life.

“The world is spared lots of crap,” said Proulx.

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In the morning, I am as undisciplined as my 2-year-old dog. My first pursuit, sitting researching the plural of titmouse. A dog walk is next.  Later, I might drift away with my Wooden Boat magazines. I am no Tolstoy.


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