The church that sits beside my house is ringing its bells. Every hour on the hour, until ten o'clock at night, then they quiet them to keep the neighborhood peaceful for early sleepers. But I'm not an early to bed sort of guy, and I miss the bells when they stop ringing them at night. Their ringing is soft and muted, hollow and echoing--the ringing hangs over the trees in the park across the street and hang there, suspended, an absence, for the rest of the night. Come morning, they ring life back into the city. Get up! Get up again!
I'm not a religious person, but I have a soft spot for ritual.
If you haven't visited Ursula Leguin's website yet, do so. There's lots of great stuff to explore, just like in her stories and novels and poetry. I often wonder why we've had an Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine for so many years, but no Leguin's Science Fiction Magazine. Or no Leguin's Fiction. Or no Leguin's Magazine, simple as that. I would love to edit that magazine's content. Alas, I've never had the chance to meet the great lady. If I do, I'll ask her for permission to make that magazine. She's been a guiding spirit in my life and writing for years now. The range of voice and tone and genre and concern and geography and philosophical quandary and form exemplified in her career is staggering, and what I use as a compass for direction in my own writing.
To LeGuin, and churchbells.