Image: A photo from Dallas: my graphic illustrator’s (Diana Souza) cat and baby possum neighbor. Diana wrote: My cat Sylvan shares a backyard with urban wildlife, primarily ongoing generations of possums. While the cat has shown that he absolutely detests raccoons, he seems to have a great fondness for the possums. The possums aren't afraid of the cat at all. They will brazenly waddle right up to Sylvan's dish while he's eating and take over. Sylvan is smart and generous, and graciously allows this interruption. That's why I tend to give the possum it's own little serving of cat chow when it shows up. This doesn't happen every night, by the way. I'm aware that I shouldn't provide a food source that the wildlife absolutely counts on for survival. But the cat and I both enjoy sharing, so when the possums show up, I make sure they both get to eat without competition.
Tuesday, August 24
Just a miserably hot summer here in Ithaca. Although Diana wrote last week that it is so hot in Dallas that a friend of hers baked cookies in her car.
Diana is planning her visit to Ithaca in October, so we can hopefully finish editing and formatting the new books - or at least one of them. At the moment we are more trying to find Diana a place to stay and a car to use than working on the books. All in good time. Flurries of e-mails back and forth. I looked in my sent box and found past e-mails to Diana: oh my, this will be a grand mess to straighten out. The subject lines alone are enough to make my head spin: CORRECTIONS: re Table of Contents 1 &2; CORRECTIONS: re info page; CORRECTIONS: re TOC hierarchy; ERRORS & CORRECTIONS to TOC already formatted; FOOTNOTES to Dream book FINAL ... And then to check to see if those corrections were, in fact, made.
Today Priscilla took me to the K Mart parking lot, to get a bit of wind and sun. (Well, there are generally not many yellow jackets in parking lots ... and today was cooler, under eighty degrees.) That particular parking lot has the most beautiful sky - and mountains on two sides. I walked for a while and then fed the sea gulls bread I had brought with me from home. At first the gulls fought for bread, and I inwardly told them to stop, that I would throw each of them a piece separately. Which I did. By the end of our time together, the gulls were all lined up, waiting their turn to receive their piece. One special gull would jump up to catch the bread, hovering in the air, as though giving a little jump for joy ...
After a long, hot summer - it is finally cooling down.
Thursday, August 26
More messages from Diana. She is arriving October 5th, early evening, and has found a room at the Quaker village a bit out of town. She cannot remember where we are in the books, and doesn’t know if she has sent me all the corrected pages. I found my binders and the manuscripts and will take a look at them, try to figure out where we are with editing. At least while Diana is here in Ithaca I can type corrections into the formatted version - instead of spending a good deal of time sending Diana e-mails filled with corrections, for her then to decode, locate in the ms and then type in.
We have decided to spend some days at Windgarth while she is here. That way we can work far into the night and then she can go upstairs to bed, instead of driving back to her room at the Quakers.
Sunday, August 29
I took out my Visits With Angels binder, to begin again. But since Diana is not sure if she has sent me all the updated pages with her corrections, I am stranded with a pile of printed up pages, all marked up in blue or black pen and innocently stating their case. They have no idea what is to be done, save to sit in the front of the binder. And either do I. Since I long ago completed all my editing of the books, there is really nothing I can do at the moment to help galvanize us back into action. All depends on Diana’s schedule clearing, and that might not happen until she arrives in Ithaca.
Last night I had dinner with Johnny and Peg, and Johnny asked me questions about the different choirs of angels. I told him I had written a book about angels and that I would send him the chapter on the various choirs.
Tuesday, August 31
Yesterday morning JF took me to a doctor’s appointment and I spent a half hour or so in the parking lot, strolling in the early sun, gazing at the clouds before the afternoon heat.
I work in the front gardens at night, when it is cool enough. Last night the moon was a bit more than half full, an odd shape really, one I am not very used to - and very yellow. Striking against the black sky, I was riveted by it ... The mundane message was that today would be very hot, which I already knew - but often there seems to be a deeper message in the appearance of the moon. Perhaps because it is a luminary so alone in the sky, the stars and planets so distant and small. The moon has always seemed so much more personal than the stars... Now I am thinking of that night at Windgarth House, with Cindy. We were down by the lake, late at night, talking. I was by our dock and she was by hers, and the swath of reflected light of the moon on the lake came right to my feet. Delighted and surprised, I mentioned it to Cindy - and she answered that the same was true for her, the moon’s reflected light reached across the lake and rested at her feet. We both wondered how this was possible, and it reminded me of the time I clairvoyantly saw Our Lady’s statue at the church looking at everyone there, her head turned in many directions simultaneously ...
I took out the binder holding the manuscripts to both books and pages of corrections, and pretended to investigate the corrections. I must continue to be patient, and wait for Diana to send me her corrected chapters.