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Wednesday, July 22, 2015


caterpillar sunning midst the wildwood flowers

Caterpillar has been peculiar since returning home shaved. She was obviously quite comfortable with the mat removed from her back, but still not comfortable. I thought nothing of the temperature--mid July, summer. Last night she wanted to get in bed with me. She never wants on or in the bed. She slept in her bed under an open window. She has not eaten today. I put down food I know she likes and she wouldn't touch it. Then I knew something was not right. I held her all the time watching the movie Cold Mountain this evening. I realized after awhile she was snuggling in awfully close, and I was automatically keeping both hands on her shaved body, keeping her warm. I realized if I were to take off my clothes, I'd be cold. It is 70 now and down in 60s at night. Once I caught on that she was freezing, I could see that she was miserable all night and could not find warmth anyplace all day. I took out a heavy insulated shirt I wear in winter as a jacket. I wrapped her up in it, put her on the cushion of my reading chair, warm from two hours of watching the movie. She snuggled down into it like a turtle. I've not seen her face since. By now, her own heat is keeping her warm. 


I'm grateful to find the problem. She can't say, I'm cold. Not eating, I wondered if she might be getting a cold from exposure. This is when the word cold dawned on me. Yes, she's freezing. She's been telling me for two days and I didn't get it. When I got it, I saw she has been in a warm coat all her life, is not acclimatized to going naked. Of course she's cold. I feel much better for her since I finally caught on. She will stay inside the jacket until her bones warm up. I know how miserable it is to be relentlessly cold. I think of the people who climb Himalayan mountains. They have to like being cold all the way to the bone with no relief for days and nights in a row, sometimes weeks. Seeing her not eat all day and appealing to me unto nuisance, is what tipped me she's not feeling well. Before realizing she was cold, I fell into a place of deep concern. I appealed to her, I don't want to lose you any time soon. I want you healthy and happy. It took me almost to tears concerned she might be going into decline. I knew I'd hit the jackpot when I wrapped her in the shirt and she snuggled in like a turtle and stayed there. She has found comfort at last. 

caterpillar in her patience

The movie I watched with her on my lap was Cold Mountain, released in 2003. I wanted to see it when it was new from loving the novel by Charles Fraser so much. New, I'd heard the film was made in the mountains of Romania, for cheap production costs. I wanted to see the Smokies, not Romania. I never want to see a movie with Nicole Kidman in it. Like Brad Pitt, I never see a movie because he is in it, though when he is in one I see, I appreciate him as an actor every time. Kidman too. My friend Pat told me when she saw it, it was a JC Crew infomercial. A few minutes into it, I already saw the infomercial. Everybody was chic in expensive clothes like Abercrombie and Fitch, 19th Century style. Her hair was always perfectly styled, even when it was messy. The production was so television it wallowed in the mystery of the obvious. The only character I cared anything about was the Goat Woman. She was almost like a person, instead of a cartoon character. I about barfed every time I saw Jude Law, who gave his character the same depth Matthew McConaughey gives his characters, zero. Kidman is at least a good actress. Very good. I have a hard time with a movie when the lead roles are vacant teen favorites playing the cool young of today modeling Civil War period dress up. 

water in a bucket struck by a drop of water

The Southern accents were pathetic. They have coaches for accents. Of course, they don't want to make it so Southern nobody outside the South can understand it without subtitles. Southern language in that time would be difficult for our ears today to tune in to. Like reading Shakespeare, it takes several pages to settle into the rhythms of the Elizabethan language. I'd guess rural Southern accents in Civil War time were widely varied by region and and so thick an outsider, like somebody from this time stepping into that time may not understand anything spoken. Belief systems were very different then from now. The film exhibited today's politically correct American belief systems.  I knew in the first scene authenticity was not a priority. The writing in the book is beautiful, though the people talking in the movie had nothing but blandness in their exchanges. Several times I thought, what have they done to Frazer's beautiful writing? Where did it go? Several times the movie put me into nausea of the mind, especially the studio sound they used for Jack White puking. It was so television I expected commercials. Kidman played her part well, while looking way too much the turn-of-the-century American blond, Beverly Hills 2000 style. Seeing it confirmed for me that I really did not want to see it.

water in a bucket struck by another drop of water


  1. I love the allusion of Caterpiller and the turtle - I think she will be okay now that you have figured the problem. I loved the book Cold Mountain - and I agree about the movie - but I was able to share the story with some friends who are not readers - so there was something positive about it. Geez - I actually have friends that don't read?

  2. Oh, you have friends that don't read too? Yes, the book was beautiful, start to finish. The movie not quite a travesty, but almost. It would be a good illustration of the story for people who don't read.