It Started With A Tickle ...

Posted: January 25, 2013

Rural Pen

Cold and cold.
It began with a tickle in the back of my throat. Ever so slight.
I drank two cups of wellness tea. That usually nips it in the bud.
Not this time.
By the time we reached Arlington, I knew I was sick. An evening of music — a house concert with a pianist and my daughter, Rachel — lay before me. Then, at midnight, the drive home.
Later, as we merged onto I-81, I asked Rachel to take the wheel.
I was not nodding off, but obsessed with the idea of going to sleep.
By Monday evening, sitting on my friends’ couch after another busy day, I knew I should be in bed.
My throat hurt. I was dizzy, feverish and exhausted. I had a headache.
If I had to be sick, this week was a good time for it. With temperatures in the single digits, who wants to go anywhere?
I finally gave myself permission to stay in bed.
A pulled-back curtain revealed a slice of the world. From my second-floor bedroom, the woods were a windless tangle of grey branches against the steel-gray sky.
Even the brown leaves that covered the forest floor were unmoving. The wood itself appeared to be resting.
Sweet rest. I, too, needed a rest after all the holiday activities of cooking big family meals, baking goodies, going to parties and Rachel’s gigs.
I spent two days napping, sipping turkey-vegetable soup, reading, doing crossword puzzles and watching movies.
Coincidentally viewed on our old analog television, “Obselidia” is about a man who saves and uses things that have been superseded by new-and-improved products.
He uses a dial telephone, writes with a typewriter and travels by bicycle.
(Of course, my analog TV no longer functions without being wired to a digital converter, Wi-Fi device and DVD player.)
How delicious to watch movies during the day.
I also viewed several episodes of a series, “The Story of Film: An Odyssey.”
In 15 parts, it traces the movie industry from its inception at the end of the 1800s to the multibillion dollar industry it is today.
 It shows innovations by Japanese and German filmmakers — not just Hollywood.
The things we take for granted in movies today had to be tried first by someone.
For instance, the first movies were all shot rather wide, showing the whole setting and all the characters in it.
The first closeup was filmed in 1903. The wider view shows a girl sitting in a chair with a sick kitten on her lap.
Then we see a closeup of the girl spoon-feeding her kitty.
For now, I feel better.
See you later, bed, the cold world beckons.

Luanne Austin lives in Mount Sidney. Contact her at, pen or care of the DN-R.

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