Feels like walking into an old attic. Sent birthday greetings to San yesterday and said that it seems Muravia has gone on walkabout; today it seems that she wanted to pay a quick visit.
What a difference 1.15" in the rain gauge makes. I walked out the front door yesterday morning, headed for the Tobin, was met with a delicious blast of cool air. Swarms of people up and down the trail. I will now officially retire my occasional complaint about its paved surface. On the first leg, I passed a woman in her 80s, in hospital gown, being pushed in her wheelchair, jubilant in her greeting of me as we passed. Just around the next bend came an older gentleman scooting down the trail behind his tennis ball-shod walker. Neither of these folks would be enjoying the trail were it not paved.
The shaggy baked lassitude of recent days was gone, all the green stood taller, greener, happy to be alive up and down the creek, which was itself vigorous in its tannic flood. Bends in the creek now whooshing again; Egret Falls was in full gush. Birdwatchers even hit the trail. A few more colors out than just the hardy sunflowers: red Turk's cap peeking out again; purple morning glories.
On the south end, just before Rittiman, I walked over a shattered tree limb, followed for about fifty feet by a few horseflies, pesky buggers, but they let up at last. On the way back, I saw my mistake. Those "horseflies" were bees, as I walked through a swarm of them; more than a few stayed with me for about 100 feet, before letting up. A little farther up the northbound leg, I heard a piercing war cry from the trees across the creek: I'm guessing a hawk with something prophetic to say.
Two good flicks this weekend: Robert Duvall's latest turn in Get Low and the Japanese film Departures, recommended by mi madre. GL, with its lush cast of RD, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black, and Bill Cobbs, was instant transport. My love for Duvall is legendary, so he can practically do no wrong, but I saw colors behind his guises this time that I'd never seen; he sunk deep into this role. Sissy has always been beloved, but I've never been a huge fan; I was mesmerized by what she gives in this performance. Murray was perfectly cast as a shyster who comes to find his own depths: all of the good old tamped-down mugging, with sweet cider running through.
What a career Black has had, with the likes of Duvall here and in Sling Blade, and his excellent turn in All the Pretty Horses; all my grousing about Billy Bob's evisceration of the best third of Cormac's masterpiece (the way home) aside, LB stepped right into the boots of Sabinal-bred Jimmy Blevins and played him to the hilt. You can just see him soaking up all the Duvall / Spacek / Murray / Cobbs he can stand, for what promises to be a storied career, even if he ends up working in well-nigh oblivion. At least HE'LL know how good he is.
Departures is not a Murakami novel adapted to the screen, but it might as well be. I've been reading bits and pieces of Murakami's running memoir and some of his prose introductions: I feel like I've been getting to know not just his fiction, but the man himself: he strikes me as very transparent, very willing to show himself, and the voice feels like a close contemporary. At any rate, the energy of Departures, the gracefulness of its steady evolution, felt as if it might as well have flowed right out of Murakami's pen. As with Murakami, just when you thought the film was done blowing you away with its radiant heart and its incandescent images, something else would knock you off your feet. This film is a must.
My thanks to my mother for suggesting the film and to Lauren and Jacob (graduating seniors extraordinaire) for prodding me on to reading Murakami.
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