Thursday, June 24, 2010
The Tunnel and Mount Greylock
The tunnel and Arvo Part's Te Deum. The latter on the stereo as we drove north, near New Haven. This was Sunday. No better junction of movement and sound: the mouth of the tunnel ahead of us, the speeding vehicles, the austere alleluias of the choir. The silence between the alleluias. I lifted my camera, switched it to video mode. The lights of the tunnel saturated the frame; all I could see was yellow then white, the cold, clean fire of sodium vapor filling the tunnel, and so certain was I that I'd made the beautiful movie of the end of the world, that I didn't even bother downloading it for two days. Of course the video turned out to be nothing like that. Too quick, too quiet, too much silence between the alleluias, so the description itself will have to suffice, oh well. It wouldn't have set the right tone for the week anyway, which has been much sweeter, more convivial, back to earth.
Hi from day five of the Juniper Institute at U Mass, Amherst, where we're working hard but having a wonderful week with colleagues and friends and visiting writers and students. The schedule is tight--hence fewer posts than usual on this end--but we did manage to spend yesterday's free afternoon at Herman Melville's house over the mountain in Lenox. No pictures allowed inside the house itself--I'd left my camera back on the dresser in our room, anyway--but Mark did manage to sneak a shot out the window of Herman's study, toward his beloved Mount Greylock, the view of which made the whole room vibrate. You could feel Herman's lust for that mountain still stirring that room. Maybe I'll remind Mark to pass that picture on to me. In the meantime, some other shots from the readings: Joy Williams, James Tate, Noy Holland, Mark--and Mark and me from behind.
UPDATE, July 1: More photos. I don't have everyone, but here. in order, is Lisa Olstein, Michael Kimball, Matthew Zapruder, Leni Zumas, and Thomas Sayers Ellis