autumnal pause

          Looking out my window at clouds so low it felt like you could touch them just by raising your hand the way you would to ask a question in class, I was struck by the fact that I could. Not only could I touch the clouds, I could just stand there and look. I could stand there and look, and ask questions. There was no, one nagging thing that it was just about getting too late to do, no other thing that was haunting me with how good it would feel to –finally, at long last – get done and no other thing that was ringing my phone or knocking on my door, so I just stood there, looking out on the sodden world. The clouds had been low all day, and where they dipped down over the forested mountains and into the valleys they deposited rime on the trees like Christmas scenes in a department store window. I could picture a little toy train choo-chooing its way down through the mountain across the way, sending a plume of cheery little-engine-that-could smoke up to blend with the clouds. And with the cold, damp, cottony, almost-frozen stuff of the universe settling in, it occurred to me how much I like winter.

          In summer you can’t stand there and look, wonder and ask; Continue reading

From Babb to Billings and back

          If you can’t bring the bathtub to Babb, bring Babb to the bathtub. No, wait, that’s not how it goes. Its not even close. But it sounds good. Babb is the small town spitting distance from Canada where I went to pick up the cast-iron bathtub I found on Craigslist. The morning I left it was blizzarding (the word “blizzard”, in any English-speaking country is, of course, a noun, except in Montana, where it is a verb. As it is a good idea to respect the customs of one’s adopted country, I’ve decided to embrace this syntactic whim.) pretty hard here, so I decided to go the long way, up the interstate, then over on the Hi Line. It seemed safer than the more direct route up a two-lane highway. Boring but efficient. Continue reading