The Rut

This morning Jun and I took one of his landlord's canoes out on the river. Everything was very still, the trees on the river mostly bare, every hue of gray and brown on the ground and then reflected in the water. We paddled slowly and joked about how if we tipped over we'd die.

After about a half hour we found a fresh bank to come ashore onto and went exploring in the brush. We followed some hoof prints to a copse of Evergreens in the middle of the forest. Just that little bit of scattered greenery. The trunks of some of the trees were scraped, as if by antlers. Jun told me about "the rut," how bucks get stupid and horny during the mating season and come wandering out into clearings they'd normally avoid. And how that's hunting season. Which seems unfair. The bucks also get violent in the rut, and will charge one another. Some will lock horns and won't be able to untangle, and will just die after a time. Another buck might win the charge by breaking his competitor's neck on impact, but be forced to drag the body of the dead buck he's entangled with.

I talked to Jun about Blake, and the Dissenters. On the 5 hour drive home this afternoon I thought about how some of the illustrated novels I work on at my job are similar to Blake's illuminated works in format. I just mean in text-to-graphic ratio, really. I thought about the idea of using the format of Da Vinci's journals as a model for an illustrated novel. Not a graphic novel, mind.


Tonight I read half of Don Paterson's Best Thought, Worst Thought. At times it's truly, beautifully insightful, and at others cringe-inducing, with Charles Kinbote-style narcissism and petty spite. Which is maybe the point of the book, and its title.