September 19, 2011

Summer's Swan Song

It's tempting to get all sentimental and nostalgic about being off work last week already: the gauzy trip to the beer store with all those bright tempting bottles, the hike at Glacier Ridge, the kayak in the sun, the Bob Evans breakfast, the long read of "The Pleasures of Reading" while smoking a cigar and watching the sun slowly transport from east to west with the sound of classical music in my ears. All impossibly romantic, like an Isak Dinesen novel.

Oh how wonderful the time off was! How nice not to "busy", or not to engage in busyness but to have a broad margin to life for a week. When else can I enjoy a fine cigar at 9:30 in the morning? Or leisurely drink coffee for two hours while perusing the blogs? Eating can seem a chore. Who wants to get and the car and drive to get food when you can read or drink or think or pray?

I'm convinced we house-bound humans spend far too little time looking at the sky. It's amazing, and it's free. The masses of white clouds today looked like a large canvas of art and it's a good reminder that there's something bigger than us. If we had to pay to see the sky we'd all gawking at it.

I'm thankful, and thanked God for blogs. How nourishing they can seem! I was especially riveted today by a blog by a woman who'd been raped and had had a sexually illicit past and is now devout. She's married now, seven years I think, and says that she almost walked out last month and decided to resume her formerly libertine ways. This from a woman whose Bible is highlighted to death! She makes no excuses and if she's got a harder row to hoe she seems to have put her nose to the marriage grindstone. My heart goes out to her.

Also interesting was her understanding of the French. That wide-eyed Parisian on the Canyon trip was not flirtatious so much as simply "trying to derive as much pleasure out of the mundane experiences of life," as the blogger above wrote, and of course all the more so given we were on vacation in the Grand Canyon. How different she seemed! How culturally pre-determined we seem! We're all human beings, but there was something so foreign about that Parisian and not just her but others from France. Now this blogger, who's lived in France, sees le difference in a clearer way.

The weather today was oft chilly by summer standards last week - 45 degrees one recent morning. But I experienced it completely turned on its head, converted to good weather in just the wink of an hour. I rather liked the contrast: the restful autumnal mornings followed by high-spirited summer afternoons. Best of both worlds? When the morning is cold and cloudy but you think the afternoon will be sunny, it's sort of nice. Like knowing "this too shall pass" and enjoying the contemplative if gloomy air. It's a great feeling to be indoors and snug under a cover with a book or 'puter at hand...

Read yesterday more of Bad Catholic's Guide, this time on temperance (while drinking 3.5 beers, which provided an interesting disconnect). Had lots of good things to say about Chesterton -- speaking of, Alan Jacobs wrote about how his opinion of Chesterton changed suddenly after years of not really getting him. Interesting case made for re-reading.


William Luse said...

love the pictures, especially the dog.

TS said...

Thought of you while taking the old farmhouse; it looked like a good subject for a painting.

William Luse said...

Actually, I saved it for exactly that reason.