Lughnasadh has been the first season I’ve tried to take inspiration from, for both my reading and some internal reflection. Named after the god Lugh, it’s traditionall been seen as a time of little, with old crops low and new ones not yet harvested. This is a day to celebrate and contemplate both the ‘first fruits’ and the oncoming, overwhelming abundance.
There’s a lot of a good thing (which I forget to look for), there’s a lot of bad, and then there’s
Plans work. I just realised I need to tone it down, underestimate what I can get done in that time, and allow for a little more space to get. & that’s what I’m working on now.
Books no longer teeter in their piles on the floor, nor do they grow cold in the dark of spare room boxes. They’re on shelves: six splintered scaffolding boards from Frome Reclamation Centre, a cavernous warehouse full of dusty writing bureaus and haunted bathtubs, tucked behind the train station. With an electric sander, and face mask returning to its original, now antiquated purpose, I skinned their damp, paint-dotted surfaces, gave them a polish, and pinned them to the wall with black steel brackets. They made this house a home. They matter more, in hindsight, than I’d ordinarily let on. The past few years have been an incessant sequence of shadowlosses1 — moving house nearly ten times, deaths & sicknesses, the end of a longterm relationship, one nefarious redundancy (which, granted, helped to buy my first home), and — the cherry on top of it all — the cat, Boudica, getting hit by a car, recovering from hernia surgery, then choking on a toy’s tail six months later, recovering after more surgery, sudden toxic shock seizures, and finally recovering (with the help of expensive brain meds). Those things will always have happened. Now, though, I have this room, my room, with books on the wall, my partner’s reading chair, and a healthy cat who steals it for herself most days. These shelves are a conduit for a new part of my life.
Today’s the start of autumn.
It’s warm, no longer sweltering and uncomfortable, nor too chilly to walk around in shorts. The colours burn, the smells deepen, and the time of comfort eating without the burden of people seeing your tummy has arrived. Today, an equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator and days become equal to nights in length (I’ve added that to a little seasons glossary). After so many false starts with publishing on this website, it makes sense to start with the best time of the year.
I’ve not been sure how to approach a public journal: what’s worth sharing & what to keep to myself, how long it should be, whether to or send a link to family.
successful harvest and building reserves for winter
43? — Watership Down — Richard Adams, 1979
Literary Taste — Arnold Bennett Over Sea, Under Stone — Susan Cooper Not Quite White — Laila Woozeer The Existentialist Café — Sarah Bakewell Quicksand — Steve Toltz Voices from Chernobyl — Svetlana Alexievich The Overstory — Richard Powers
Brooklyn 99, seasons 1-7
The Sandman: Act I — Neil Gaiman & Dirk Maggs, 2020 — read by full cast The Sandman: Act II — Neil Gaiman & Dirk Maggs, 2021 — read by full cast Ramble Book — Adam Buxton — read by author
Shadowloss is a term coined by Cole Imperi, founder of The American Thanotoligst; I originally heard it described on the Quarantinology episode of the Ologies with Alie Ward podcast. It’s: A type of loss that has a multi-faceted impact on not only the life of an individual, but also the social network in that person’s life. Shadowlosses may or may not be associated with a death and are most often not. They impact a person’s social connections, status in the community, overall wellbeing, and family relationships. Examples include but are not limited to: divorce, bankruptcy, infertility, not getting a job, getting fired unexpectedly, losing a career, estrangement, or leaving a religious tradition.↩︎