(Amy Cutler)

It's been a lovely week since my last post, mainly because five of those days were spent back in MD for some serious leisure and family time. I got myself back in the kitchen, visited my grandmother, cleaned out my closet, played canasta and scrabble, watched a little too much TV, just enough movies, and enjoyed having family, pets, quiet, stars, grass, and flights of stairs at my immediate access.

I also found the time to read a strange trio of books: Dostoevsky's The Double, Macbeth, and Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Macbeth was perfect for the grey, misty days we started off the holiday with. A little sinister, cold and silent.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has been sitting on my "to-be-read" pile for a few months now. I read A Wild Sheep's Chase at some point last year and loved it--mainly because I love being lead on a fast-paced tear through a book, only to be utterly surprised at the end. I have to say, this is one of the strangest, most mesmerizing books I've read yet. I don't understand how he can pack such a twisty plot full of crazy, vivid, memorable characters, and then make it a zip to read. I think I clocked a day and a half for the book, that's a fast read, even by my standards.

He writes beautifully about our tenuous grip on reality--how we try so intensely to make it a reliable, definable thing--closing our eyes to all of the inconsistincies and wonders we are confronted with. It's so much simpler to live only in the world of tasks and things and opinions, ignoring or refusing to see the mysteries and paradoxes and spots of darkness which make life interesting.

I'll have more to write about this once I sit down with an authentic pen and some authentic paper.