Still life

Reread Tom Robbins’ ‘Still Life With Woodpecker’ this summer. Originally I had read it back in college in the 80s as a northeasterner. A modern day western set in the Pacific Northwest with a colorful cast of characters that includes romance between an environmental princess and an outlaw. This time I read it in Seattle. And this time around it read like a prophecy. First paragraph on page one:

‘In the last quarter of the twentieth century, at a time when Western civilization was declining too rapidly for comfort and yet too slowly to be very exciting, much of the world sat on the edge of an increasingly expensive theater seat, waiting – with various combinations of dread, hope, and ennui – for something momentous to occur.’

Well the pandemic does not allow us to literally sit on the edge of any expensive theater seat and I think Robbins who is a local would enjoy the irony of his metaphor. And that lately life in certain ways has been somewhat still.