A quiet place

About a mile and a half away from where I sit, the finance ministers of the G20 are discussing the world’s problems. Or at least, I hope they are. It is a crisp, cold partly-cloudy day and I have already hung my washing to take advantage of the few hours of sunlight. I thought about going into town today, to see if there was any excitement, but I have cleaning to do, and go to the store (in the opposite direction), and write 1500 words. There was supposed to be a demonstration on Market Street yesterday. I didn’t know about it until afterward, but, I had walked down Market Street at the time it was supposed to be and no one was there. It is the first weekend of Reading Week, and really, the G20 did choose just about the quietest town ever.

Yesterday I concluded that I prefer Scotland to England, and that I do really like our School of English. As I was walking up to 66, I thought about that while it was refreshing to be around other medievalists at Quadrivium, it was all about networking, and how to use each other, jockeying for positions. I was honest and thus the least articulate about my research topic because I don’t really have one yet. But the community we have in 66 is based on common interests outside of academia, and it at least appears that we genuinely enjoy each other’s company; it is a community, even if I am the only medievalist.

Also, we have the sea. Yesterday, the tide was beginning to come in, and as the waves surged and crashed upon the rocks I could almost see the unicorns. Our castle became King Haggard’s castle, our waves became the unicorns, coming within a single step of the shore but too afraid of the Red Bull to leave the water. I tried skipping rocks in the pool. I failed until I found a perfectly flat and round one, about the size of a communion wafer. I said “Please skip” and it did. I skipped a few more and then I saw a round, flat rock the size of my palm. I also implored it to skip, commending its mightiness, and it leaped in bounds across the length of the pool. I was very pleased.

I came across this interpretation/reaction to Hallowmas. Instead of treating Halloween in isolation, step back and consider it within the context of All Saints’ and All Souls’. I especially appreciated the sense of the medieval mystery play.

“As a friend of mine observed recently, there is something medieval about Halloween. The masks, the running around in the dark, the flicker of candles in pumpkins, the smell of leaves and cold air—all of it feels ancient, even primal, somehow. Despite the now-inevitable preponderance of media-inspired costumes, Halloween seems, in execution, far closer to a Last Judgment scene above a medieval church door, or to a mystery play, than it does to Wal-Mart.”

Full article here: The Drama of Hallowmas.

For those who are interested, I have added a NaNoWriMo wordcount widget to the right on the page, beneath my NaNoWriMo participant badge. I update the word count daily after each writing session.