Sunday, September 05, 2010

staying power

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.



Anonymous Miss Alister said...

Well wouldya lookit this. Paschal. All hallelujah and stuff. Even the bees knew better’n to mess with your Zen self. Radiant heart and incandescent images… Welcome back around, mon frère éclairé :-D

5:40 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Love the picture and the description of the river trail. I have a friend who is doing her thesis on Murakami; she has done a number of presentations on his books in various seminars over the past year. I also heard a paper about how difficult it is to translate his works. My impression from their speaking was that Murakami is HARD to understand--could it be that your minds are on the same wave-length? Or perhaps the translation only captured one of many possible meanings... My Japanese isn't good enough to read Murakami in the original, so I don't know that answer to that one.

Glad to know you're alive and well. I am back in class and still behind on the thesis. If you check out my blog, there are links to Truth's posts from China and Mongolia. Her second one from Mongolia about riding horses across the steppes is amazing. They are all good. The first one from Beijing is also quite interesting. She is a definite cross between her mother and her father. Just hope she doesn't manage to pick up a husband and three kids in the five and a half months that she's gone.

7:09 PM  
Blogger anno said...

Summer's been too hot and too still around here, as well; Earl came around just in time to freshen things up.

Sounds like a good run for you this a.m. I like the sound of those movies, too; missed Sissy Spacek in recent years. Better yet, Duvall's manly enough to make up for the lack of car chases and explosions. Means I might not have to wait for an evening to myself to watch it.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

rain and cooler temps have blown relief our way as well. I managed to get in a walk around the track this morning and felt the breeze wiping the stress from me.

Good to see the lights on here. I wander through every now and then just to make sure you turned the stove off and the papers aren't piling up outside the door.

The movies will have to wait as will any reading that takes brain power but the season will change and calm will prevail.

9:10 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Yo, Duchess: What comes of even the slightest of summer rains, though last night's trek down the Tobin was headed right back to baked lassitude. Creek done gone down rill fass. Good to hear from you, too, gal.

12:22 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: I am way too new to Murakami to have any sense beyond my own pleasure in reading him so far. Blurbists have made Pynchon comparisons (which could account for difficulties), but I've seen none, aside from the fact that I like them both. HM seems much more straight-on, though The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle had some wonderful departures. He seems pretty steeped in the West, certainly western music, and shares some of my corny adolescent musical tastes, so I wouldn't expect the "translating" to be difficult. Whatever the case, definitely a blood-brother.

I will definitely check out Truth's posts. Good to hear from you.

12:29 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Anno: Looks like Hermine might be bringing another round of freshening tomorrow. Both those flicks will be well worth your wine and while.

12:32 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: Conservation/channeling of energies seems to be the theme of the season - surely one of the dirty secrets of Facebook, that it will catch whatever drool we have left over from the days' races.

Keep those flicks on your list to do: I imagine you'll chuckle at Duvall as much as we did.

Your caretaking of the place is much appreciated. I even noticed that you dusted some of the dustier corners. Blessings.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Tammie Lee said...

sure enjoyed the walk with you until the bees chased you... nothing like green things plumping up!
loved reading your movie reviews, I might just have to take one in on this almost rainy day.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I was thinking that for you, he might feel like home because he is like some of your favorite authors. I think that the Wind-up Bird Chronicles was one the translation paper presenter felt had lost much of the ambiguity in translation so that it would be more marketable in the US (with the blessings of the author). I found that interesting. The Japanese love the fact that every single person gets a different message from his work, at least that's what my friend says. Americans seem to like their ambiguity in smaller doses.

6:12 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

MizLee: Both good movies for that cabin of yours. Cozy.

5:26 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: I could see Wind-Up Bird giving translators fits. It has some wonderful departures and some places that still have me reeling. The one I'm reading now (South of the Border, West of the Sun) seems pretty straightforward, but I feel something brewing and about to cut loose.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Devil Mood said...

Hello Monsieur Paschal :)
Hmm I find that -perhaps it's the old lady in me - films are much more enjoyable and rich when there are some older, experienced artists performing. Last week I watched Away we go and my favourite part was seeing the couple made by Jeff Daniels and Catherine O'Hara. I wonder if it's themselves that make it interesting because we've seen them so many times before, or if it's their roles that are more interesting because they represent more experienced characters...
Anyway, that sounds like a great film!
I read some Murakami, namely the Wind-up bird chronicle and 2 books with short-stories and I really haven't made up my mind yet. I really cannot tell you how I feel about his books. A blank.

5:26 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

DM: I think The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was wonderful; I loved the adolescent girl character, the wacky island twins, and the old soldier who told the incredible war story. I really sunk into the book. I need to read more; the latest one I'm reading - South of the Border, West of the Sun, threatens to break open and then also threatens to bore me to tears, with what seems a very prosaic text. Gotta dig in deeper and see what else he holds in store.

Good to hear from you.

12:42 AM  

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