20 September 2010


Whenever it rains, the water pours off the southeast edge of the building I inhabit in an angry river. So even if it is only lightly raining, it sounds torrential.

The book I am reading right now partially takes place in a snowstorm. I wonder if we'll have any this year or if global warming has established a permanent position on snow in Vancouver yet.

My copy of Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson is sitting beside me, insisting it has "over one million copies sold". I'd never heard of it but it came recommended. Reading it, for whatever reason, I feel as if it was written for me. To read. Right now. Odd, isn't it? These one-sided relationships.

'He loved humankind dearly and with all his heart, but he disliked most human beings,' she'd told Ishmael. 'You're the same, you know. You're your father's son.'

Thus on San Piedro the silent-toiling, autonomous gill-netter became the collective image of the good man. He who was too gregarious, who spoke too much and too ardently desired the company of others, their conversation and their laughter, did not have what life required. Only insofar as he struggled successfully with the sea could a man lay claim to his place in things.

They could not say in any precise way what exactly it was they sought in the city, only that they wanted to go there. It was something Hatsue herself had once felt but had since emerged from as if from a dream, discovering the truth of her private nature: it was in her to have the composure and tranquillity of an island strawberry farmer. She knew in her bones what she wanted, and she knew why she wanted it, too. She understood the happiness of a place where the work was clear and there were fields she could enter into with a man she loved purposefully.

Quotations from Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1995.

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