Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just a Few Things for an Autumn Saturday. . .


It’s autumn, and the trees are just beautiful all over town and the university. I’m the one on campus stopped dead in my tracks, blocking the dense flow of pedestrian traffic as I stand staring up at the trees in wonder. The striking, vibrant color that literally surrounds me is at its showy best against that backdrop of strong blue sky that we've had so often lately, especially in angled early morning or late-afternoon light, and so I stand and stare and soak it in because I know this season, like all seasons, year after year, is but for a moment.

Most striking, I think, are those rare days when volatile, blackened, threatening skies mix with sunlight of an almost eery quality so that the whole outdoors appears to be cast in a neon glow. That’s when autumn colors become otherworldly, and it’s even better when windy bluster swirls the leaves so that they skitter along the path and dance into the sky. So many days I’ve wished I had my camera with me and have vowed to return with it the next day. And yet I never have, and now the most colorful trees are sparsely leafed. The photos above do not come close to exhibiting the reds and oranges and unreal autumn colors I see in other parts of town. But, still, I find them lovely.

 "An image is an impression of the Truth,
which God has allowed us to glimpse with our sightless eyes."
~Andrei Tarkovsky

My son has long been an admirer of Russian film-maker Andrei Tarkovsky. He often sends me quotes from Tarkovsky’s Sculpting in Time, and I always love these quotes, and I love that Aaron thinks to send them to me. Months ago, Aaron told me about a book containing Polaroid photos taken by Tarkovsky. He even sent me a link so that I could see some of the photos, but I forgot about it until I saw the same link on Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks blog recently. And now I have the book in hand, and I think it is stunning. The photos look like paintings. Their subject matter is what is most interesting to me and Tarkovsky shoots my favorite kind of light. The photos are sprinkled with quotes and thoughts by Tarkovsky on the meaning of art and life and spirituality. I will definitely read his book, Sculpting in Time.

Poor picture--but love that boy!
Jayden signed my guestbook.

I don't think he can spell anything beyond his name, and he certainly doesn't know how to use a typewriter, but what does that matter? Typing is fun! And incoherent messages produced by little ones I love are as sweet as any others.

Three of my grandkids (and their parents) visited last Saturday. It was soooo much fun to see everyone! We read stories (the boys were gripped by the suspense of The Bears of Hemlock Mountain). We made smoothies (because that’s something we always do when we get together).

And we turned on the kids used-to-be bedtime lullaby CD. I swear this is the best CD ever for bedtime. When Roman was tiny, if he fussed in the car, Michelle would turn on this CD, and in literally seconds, Roman would be silent, and within a minute or so, he would be asleep. It was like a miracle sleeping potion. When I’d babysit the kids when they were younger, toddler Jayden would come to me when he was sleepy, point to the rocking chair, and say, “Veiss, Susy? Veiss.” This meant that he wanted me to rock him to sleep while I either played "Eidelweiss" from the CD or sang it to him myself while we rocked. So, when I put this CD on the player last Saturday, the boys actually got excited (and even a bit sentimental), told me to sit in the rocking chair, and climbed into my lap. For song after song, they laid their heads against me as we rocked and talked quietly. Jayden almost fell asleep.

And some things never change. . .

The other night I was in the living room, focused on whatever it was I was reading, when I took a break and went to the dark kitchen to make myself a cup of tea. Apparently, I had already thought of making tea earlier and had forgotten. Because I found this (yes I’m still at it, and, now, not only am I turning on the wrong burner, but now I am also forgetting that I turned on any burner at all!). . . Yikes.

It's a pretty day here with pretty light and leaves floating around in the breeze. I hope it's lovely where you are!


  1. So nice to read a post from you, Susan! I can't seem to stop exclaiming at the colors of all the leaves, here, too! (And when I'm walking I stop and marvel, as you do- and wish I had my camera or- even if I do have my camera- wish I could capture the beauty better on my camera!)

    I've never heard of that CD, so thank you for the recommendation. My girls will love it if it has Edelweiss on there! ;)

    And- the burner left on? That has happened to me lots of times, too! Yikes!

    Love to you!

  2. the photo of those leaves is just gorgeous! glad your back posting I have missed your posts!

  3. How nice to see a post from you in Google Reader! I always enjoy your posts, Susan. I hope school is going well. The few trees we have here that change colors always catch my eye and I am always in awe of the beauty.

  4. Did you notice the old man's quote about photos on the Tartovsky blog? "What is it good for, to stop the time?"

    You've done the same for your kitchen clock. That's a really nice photo of your oven!

  5. I love the authentic Polaroids. I get so tired of the 'fake' ones on Facebook and other blogs. Apparently you can take them with IPhones, and people have gone crazy with them. Tartovsky's book sounds wonderful! I've never heard of him but will see if I can find the book somewhere.

  6. Susan, I love the way you write--your wonderful way with words. I also love what you write. And I laughed at the photo of your lovely fire-red burner. Ten years ago, I was always turning off my mother-in-law's electric burners. Now, I'm the one leaving the gas stove on, or turning on the wrong burner under an empty water pot, and wondering what that smell is! Yikes is right!