There’s much to be said for the sky in Tennessee. Huge, cumulous clouds that take on their own characters, colors, shapes and sounds. I’ve decided that the Tennessee children who have the opportunity to lie in the grass and look skyward at the clouds, imagining the shapes of animals as they traipsed across the sky must be very lucky. Do you suppose there are any children any more who have that luxury of time and creative solo imagination? I hope so.

This morning in the course of my second cup of tea, while sitting on the porch, we saw a great blue heron fly across the field and alight on the top of one of the large trees across the road. He then flew a bit closer, onto the electrical wire, balancing himself more or less by flapping his unwieldy wings until his companion came along and they flew off together. Other morning visitors included two black cows on the hill, a buzzard circling, and a pair of mockingbirds who were very busy in the gutter overhead. Meanwhile, the cicadas provide their daily serenade.

Worked from about 8 until 2pm today. This afternoon I reached the end of the material I’ve written, having made my first editorial pass. There is more that needs to be written. But today I’m not sure where I need to go with it. I have taken the night off to ponder the future.

This afternoon, at five p.m. I put on my suit and went down to the pool, where I swam until I heard thunder. It was still sunny over the pool, but on the far side of the sky, there was thunder happening behind the darkening clouds. Eventually the sun faded over the pool, and I moved inside to read.

So here instead are a few photos from my porch and also looking up at the beams over the desk where I’ve been working this week. There are these beautiful undulating paths through the wood made by whom? If you have the answer, I’d love to hear what you think made these paths. I looked up wormwood, but don’t think that’s the same thing.

I can imagine people one hundred fifty years ago hanging their hats on the branches that remain on these posts. I found myself imagining today if Matthew Dobson, the first owner of the land back in April 1853 when he purchased the property and built the smokehouse note the decorative aspect of those insect paths and select those pieces to admire from the front porch? Happy accident? Or intentional design choice? There’s a lot of history here in this structure. I feel so fortunate to soak it up this week.

7 thoughts

  1. Els – I am in Knoxville, which is about 3 hours to the east of you, in the mountains. Would love to have you come visit if you have the time. My school has started, so I cannot get to you…

  2. Glad for you to have such a beneficial respite in pursuit of your writing skills.

    Subject matter matters. I solve that by tying my Op Ed’s to salient news developments. Example: yesterday on immigration and foreign venturism.

    Your view of Tennessee would be different had you lived there yin 1839 about time of the novel “Underground Railroad” which I finished yesterday. Not to be missed.

    Love Dad

    Sent from my iPhone


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