The last few weeks here in Portland have been heavenly! Nights so cold and clear that the star-scattered sky seems close enough to touch. Days washed with sunshine and the goodwill of people who can’t wait until summer. But I know this is an illusion. Summer isn’t here yet and soon we will be back to the rain and overcast skies that Oregonians know and love.
So what will I do until then? Maybe a book, movie or music will bring some of that warmth and goodwill back to my soul. First on my list is a good mystery. Nothing cheers me up like a puzzle well solved. Or a detective who, despite personal problems, can’t stop until justice is done.
Dr. Siuri is one such detective. His story takes place in Laos during the time of the Vietnam War. Although 70 years old and hoping to retire into obscurity, Dr. Siri is appointed by the Laotian Government as their head (and only) forensic doctor. In Coroners Lunch, the first book in the series by Colin Cotterill, Dr. Siri knows nothing about forensics, but luckily with his two talented and resourceful assistants, Mr. Geung, (a mentally challenged man the government wanted to fire for incompetency) and a young nurse Dtiu ( who is considered too plain and overweight to nurse in the hospital), he is able to solve political crimes without causing an international disaster.
Along with a good mystery and a steaming cup of golden hot tea, I am sure to be listening to the Moody Blues - the mellow spirit of their music belies the introspective lyrics of songs that can still make me ponder the meaning of life.
From Days of Future Past :"Cold-hearted orb, that rules the night, removes the colors from our sight, red is grey and yellow white, but WE decide which is right and which IS an illusion".
From A Question of Balance: "Why do we never get an answer, when we're knocking at the door with a thousand million questions about hate and death and war?"
If black clouds and pouring rain put me in the the mood for for a movie, I might pick the Secret Garden -I love the version that features Maggie Smith as the bitter Mrs. Medlock, Linda Ronstadt's airy song Winter Light and a beautiful sleeping garden just waiting for the innocence and stubborness of Mary, Dickon and Colin to wake it up. The beauty of the ending that shows them dancing on the sunlit meadow always restores my faith in life again.
It's almost enough to make me hope I will wake up tomorrow to clouds and the sound of rain falling.