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Showing posts from December, 2005
Slipping AwayBlack hair, firm skin, good teeth
Dreams buried deep underneathUseful uterus, a certain insouciance
Living at full pace, no search for balanceCrying at will, feeling unafraid
Golden days, charging out on crusadesChanging course at a whim
Obsessing about being slimLaughing at middle-aged men
Ogling, eyeing, brushing menGetting drunk late into the night
And not flinching at the morning lightAll slipping away, far far away
At the end of the day’s play
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Anita Shreve’s writing has a nuanced quality about it. The narrator in her novel All He Ever Wanted is not a likeable man. It’s difficult to narrate a story from a certain point of view and project that point of view in a bad light. Shreve’s writing manages to do just that through carefully shaded characters and language.Nicholas Van Tassel meets his future wife Etna Bliss in a disastrous hotel fire that kills a few people. She makes a huge impression on him and he decides she is all he ever wanted. In a classic scene, he catches her during a moment of vulnerability and persuades her to marry him. But in his joy of succeeding in his quest he cannot see beyond his narrow desires and chooses not to notice Etna’s lack of warmth in her reply and her warning - she tells him she cannot love him, but accepts his offer of marriage. He ignores that warning, confident that he can make her love him over time.The next decade and a half is spent in a marriage that is normal on the surface. But ben…
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Call of the Rocks

The airplane circling around Connellan airport seemed reluctant to land, allowing us a clear sight of the rock we had flown miles to see. Set amidst a huge expanse of barren red earth, Ayers Rock was from air, a giant blob of mud. It was a first glimpse that left us a bit bemused – what was all the fuss about, really!
The airport itself was familiar in an Indian sort of way – we walked through a blazing hot tarmac to the airport building. But the sky was a clear blue, the air fresh. And the free shuttle bus to the hotel was mercifully air-conditioned.
The hotel in question was The Desert Garden Hotel, one of about 4 available, all part of the Ayers Rock Resort. Accommodation does not come cheap here in Yulara, the service village for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. There is a restriction on development in the area, and land is leased by the park authorities from the aboriginal tribe for whom the area is sacred. Which means tourists pay quite a high price for the pho…