Wednesday, October 15, 2014

rivers and rain: letter from St. Johns

Hello old friends!

It has been a long while.

I have fallen into a hole of sorts; a hole made of music practice and ferns and creaky floorboards and stubs of incense.

Here is where I am living now:

My house is in the mist, on the far side of the bridge. If you listen carefully, you can just make out the drone of a tambura and the water-drop warble of a tabla being played. If you can't hear that, it means I am in the garden, shoveling a mountain of dirt from one place to another for no apparent reason.

There is a mysterious truck in my neighborhood where the duck and chicken man lives with his duck and chickens. Here is a picture of them foraging outside the post office (the tall, red-legged duck is me):

I have not been writing very much lately. I sleep one night out of every two. I've been trying to figure out some big questions, and it's funny where figuring can lead you: sometimes down a rabbit trail you could not have conceived of months or years before, sometimes back to the very place you started from but forgot about along the way.

Here is a picture of the Chinese pagodas that live under my floor (the red shoe in the corner belongs to the duck in Figure 2.):

Mostly, they are covered by a rug, but now and then I lift it and peer down at them: pagodas! And cherry blossoms too, all year round. It's nice to know that there are many layers to this world, that there are springtime pagodas hiding just beneath the dusty rug. 

The red-bearded man some of you remember as Techie Boyfriend has just peered over my shoulder. He laughs: "Mostly YOU'RE covered by a rug," an unfair statement as I am currently only wearing one out of the two sweaters I wrested away from the hobo spiders this morning.

Friends, I hope you are all doing wonderfully and writing great stories. See you in the rain...


  1. Hey, thanks for the letter and sharing a bit of your world.

    Also, this would be a great start to a book: My house is in the mist, on the far side of the bridge.

  2. I've missed your posts!

    I took a year "off" as well, but mine did not involve houses in the mist or chicken / duck men, leading me to believe that you've been doing far more interesting things.

  3. I've missed reading your thoughts on your life and the world around you. You have a wonderful gift for storytelling.

    Please keep writing!

  4. Trying hard to see you on the other side of the misty bridge... where are you?
    Glad to hear from you again, Hillary. I hope you get back to writing and sharing your powerful prose.

  5. Thanks so much for the update! I'm so excited for your next writing, whatever it ends up being.