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2010-08-18 08:20:55 (UTC)

House of Sand

Things Coming Together?

By midnight my day of reading and writing, editing and
internet publishing as well as what I have come to call my
independent scholarship has come to an end. Domestic tasks
and community involvements of various kinds have also ended.
Whatever social activity and interaction with my wife in
our empty nest and with others outside that nest that day
have also ended. My computer goes off at mid-night for it
is pre-set to shu t itself off at that time as an aid to get
me to bed. My word processing facility and my access to a
library of billions of pages is gone for the next eight
hours. I tidy-up the papers, books and files in my study
arranging them for the next morning of literary work.

I then prepare my third meal of the day, usually leftovers.
It’s a meal which follows the two previous meals I’ve had
that day, the last one at about 6 p.m. and the first of the
day at about noon. I then sit down in front of the
television to take in its late night offerings. The lighted
box helps to increase the alpha waves going to my brain
system, so recent studies inform us. These electromagnetic
waves or oscillations in the frequency range of 8–12 Hz
arise from synchronous and coherent electrical activity of
thalamic pacemaker cells in humans. They are commonly
associated with relaxed meditative states. They provide for
me after midnight a useful soporific sleep-inducing effect.
Sometimes a good movie or doco is about to start or has
started. Last night was such an occasion. This prose-poem
closes with some comments on that movie entitled: House of
Sand and Fog.-Ron Price with thanks to Wikipedia, 15 August,

This drama-film has been out
for eight years—just about all
the movies come to TV if you
wait long enough, eh? If you
go to Wikipedia you will find
a detailed summary of the plot
for both the movie and novel
from which it came, published
the year I retired from full-time
employment, 1999…and took a
sea-change in Tasmania by the
river and only five kms from
the Bass Strait, an extension of
the Great Southern Ocean at the
end of the Eurocentric world!!

We are all doomed, goes the theme
of this writer and this film…by our
tragic inability to understand each
other and our dreams so often…if
not mostly, go awry……...But this
writer1 found a gorgeous bolt of
fabric to enrich his many hours of
daydreaming, and rich scraps from
his childhood; he cut that fabric &
rearranged the pieces, sewed them
back together, again and again…..
looking for a pattern, as he puts it
so well analysing literary process.

Yes, Andre1, that puts it well…..Was it
all those odd jobs you had?……Was it
your father’s masterly capacity to write
short fiction? He died just weeks before
I left the classroom in ’99 and you were
born in ’59, the year I joined a new Faith.2

Things come together in life, eh Andre?
Perhaps it’s all that daydreaming and the
endless circulation of ideas, events & life.

1 American writer Andre Dubus III(1959-) wrote the novel
House of Sand and Fog during my last two years of full-time
teaching, 1997-1999. Dubus was a finalist for the National
Book Award for Fiction in 1999 as I left Western Australia,
the teaching profession and moved to Tasmania taking an
early retirement after nearly 50 years in classrooms, 1949
to 1999, first as a student and then as a teacher.

2 The Baha’i Faith

Ron Price
17 August 2010