Saturday, July 29, 2017


The birds are screeching like mad this morning--seagulls, terns, crows, sparrows: all of them carrying on to high heaven. I woke at sunrise, ice-cold in the brisk wind that was swirling through my tree-house bedroom. When I got up to deal with the cat, I saw that the moored sailboats on the bay were drifting silhouettes against streaks of finger-paint sky. The view was as eloquent as a drugstore "I love you" card. Sometimes this town is ridiculously beautiful.

All winter and spring and summer, I have been trying to find a rickety balance . . . among where I am, where I was, where I will be. At the same time I find myself obsessed with the public life of the nation: where it was, and where it is, and the horrifying chasm before us. In the confusions of my thoughts, the physical presence of now--this place, this moment--is in constant conflict with the made-for-TV thuggery of our rulers. I swirl in place, trapped between cherishing and mourning, and meanwhile the headlines scream, "Whole US mainland in missile range." The fragility is terrifying.

Today we will spend the day on the bay. I will pack curried chicken sandwiches, and fresh tomato salad, and sweet cherries, and we will meet Tom's parents at the ferry, and we will ride on the mailboat among the islands and swells. The sun will glint on the waves, and, if we're lucky, porpoises will surface alongside the prow.

Probably it won't be our last day on earth.

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