Ellipses

These extracts from my spontaneous and infrequent jottings-down – scraps of paper fluttering by in the wind – are elliptical in the sense that their original context has been elided, thus they are to some degree nonsensical. (Unfortunately ‘ellipsis’ and ‘elide’ turn out to be etymologically unrelated.)

2021

Tannins

I have fallen lately into the habit, when I make some tea for myself or for Jocelyn, of afterward taking the just-steeped tea-bag in my hand and crushing it in my hand.

If one is singing Compline outdoors in the wintertime at night, it is a very wonderful thing if the air is completely tranquil, so that one's candle-flame hardly quavers, much less thinks of blowing out. I am very grateful on such occasions.

On chickpeas

Whenever I open a can of chickpeas, I find myself soon engrossed in removing their transparent skins, one by one …

It makes me glad to hear pumpkin seeds pop as they toast in the oven.

2020

As I was reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, I came across a song that turned out to be a translation of Clamanda, from the Sacred Harp.

Last night I woke up at 2:30 am and could not return to sleep. Eventually I lit a candle and finished reading my novel, Piranesi.

I once dropped my semicolons between the boards of the front porch: I rescued them with a bent m-dash.

On oomancy

Yesterday evening we had friends over to our apartment for our weekly oomancy session. As I was sweeping the floor in anticipation of their arrival, I reflected upon the first time I tried my hand at oomancy.

2019

This city is a strange place—so much of it is paved.

The trees here—it must be lonely for them, not being in a forest; stretching their roots out and finding soil compacted by cement, soil sparse of arboreal conversation.

I want to buy this Oxford UP edition of the Book of Common Prayer; but maybe I only want to want it, not to have it.

2018

Purple sparks

I used to be able to make purple sparks shoot from my fingertips. I just had to snap my fingers at just the right angle, with just the right force, when the humidity was just right …

2017

While skating at the Oval this afternoon with a few friends, I felt compelled to offer an explanation for why I was alternating smooth skating with bouts of stumbling.

2016

I made a remark shortly after I came in the door—paraphrased from David Lebovitz (unfortunately I've lost the link)—about the state of the Parisian baguette: Emma is this moment recording it in her quote-book. I am flattered.