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Sunday, July 7, 2002


I've been looking through forums and webpages about voluntary simplicity today. Do I really want voluntary simplicity or am I just feeling a little poorer than usual? It all sounds so nice but there is so much that I am just not going to do like not using plastic baggies or gardening or knitting. I'm also not likely to become a vegetarian, not because I don't approve of the ethics of vegetarianism, but because I feel rotten everytime I try it.

I stayed inside and read today. It's a bit schizophrenic to sit in my chair and look out at the green trees and grass with the blue sky peeking through. It looks so lovely and cool outside, the furthest thing from a desert, but I step outside and it's an oven. After reading a while I get restless and look up thinking it might be nice to take a walk but almost immediately realize that it would not be a good idea.

I read "Eccentric Islands" by Bill Holm. This is a series of essays about islands from Iceland to Madagascar and some islands of the mind. I enjoyed it very much. Holm is a poet as well and intersperses prose with poetry. As a lover of slow travel I especially enjoyed one passage where he took a boat to Iceland, an eleven day sail in 1979, when he went. He wrote "The point of going far away from where you are is, in fact, to be far away, to have inside your body the physical sense that you are no longer where you were and have gone to some trouble to get there, to move from one landscape, one weather to another. The airplane lies to you. . . . .The airplane has lied to your body. . . If you arrive too quickly--anyplace--you will spend your life never having actually seen anything at all except the No-Smoking/Fasten Your Seat Belt sign and a still virgin vomit bag." That's why I ride greyhound.

I also read "For Whom Death Tolls" by Kate Kingsbury. This is set in a small town in England during WWII. Elizabeth Hartleight Compton, the lady of the manor, has enough problems with little income due to her late husband gambling away their money, the difficulty of getting decent help, that she can afford, and a group of American soldiers billeted in her home, then a disagreeable American is killed and she has to figure out who did it before her secretary/maid dies of grief when her boyfriend is arrested. It's a nice mystery with a twist.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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