Thursday, November 20, 2014

cool and quiet


by Charles Simic

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger's tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

{listen to Charles Simic read the poem}

Would you rather be a dove or a tiger or a stone? There's a question. I suppose I'd side with Simic, and choose to become a soft smooth stone.

When you were a kid did you always have a stone in your pocket for good luck, or reassurance? I'll still pick a nice stone up when I see one. Who knows why exactly. But the one in the top photograph seems to echo the texture of my Claire Fontaine notebook, the one where I jot down daily thoughts, happenings, anxieties, angst.

If we were having tea, what would we talk about.

I'd tell you about the video made of Rob painting during his writer in residenceship at Graceland University and which you can view on Facebook. I'd tell you about the latest from our Humans of EPL project, and ask you to click like etc.

This weekend Rob and I will be heading to Banff, for the Canada House Gallery 40th annual "JOY" Christmas show. Looking forward to seeing great art, hanging out with cool artists, and of course all the lovely and joy-filled gallery folks.

We finished watching series two of Endeavour, starring Shaun Evans as Morse. The cliffhanger ending though.....kind of killed me. And now the wait for series three......waaaah!

Meanwhile, have been thinking a lot about typewriters, typing. Over the years of reading this blog you've like seen one or two of our typewriters make an appearance in various photographs. In the next photo I paired one of them with a painting of clouds Rob did for us a few years back, then decided he didn't like and hid it in the basement.

I missed it though, and had him bring it up, and hung it in my study. Quite enjoying it there.

Though it probably won't be this lovely little Remington Cadet, I would like to get one of the typewriters in typing condition. I'd like to try working on one for a change of pace. I have a Smith-Corona (blue) that's in working shape, save the ribbon. So my next step will be to track down one of those on the internet.

There's been much interest in the typewriter app designed by Tom Hanks, which is cool, but it's the real thing that calls me at present.


  1. I never thought about being a stone, but Simic makes it sound like it could be really a nice and calm and wonderful thing. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Maybe an acorn...because it is smooth and alive and has so much potential locked inside of it. It feels like a kiss in my pocket.

  3. Thanks for reading, both of you. I like the acorn idea :)

  4. My daily notebook is a Clairefontaine Age Bag too (though A4 & stapled not bound). Something so lovely about that textured cover & all those smooth, smooth pages inside. I'm on the last of my supply & agonising over whether to stick with green or try blue. Such a small decision, but I'm taking my time :-) (I have to order 5 at a time, so it's a big commitment!)

    1. I do love this notebook. Perfect for writing with a fountain pen. Not too big, not too small :) The store I bought them at only had black and this light brown. I totally get the colour angst :) I ended up getting 3 black, and 2 brown.

  5. Endeavour - I'm waah-ing right along with you - the good news is that the series stands up REALLY well to multiple viewings... those Claire Fontaine books are the best, I agree perfect for fountain pens! Also, I love this idea of the moon suing somewhere deep inside a stone, thanks for sharing this, Shawna. xo


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