MY VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE BARN

Some maples are red and others bright yellow. Either one can catch my breath.
Some maples are red and others bright yellow. Either one can catch my breath.

 

October is one of my favorite times for sitting and working in the loft of the barn. The sun no longer turns its air intolerably stuffy but rather adds some welcome comfort. I can still leave the loft door open for natural light and fresh air, if I want. And just look what’s happening around me!

 

Our season of outdoor dining is just about ended.
Our season of outdoor dining is just about ended.
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DEAR CROSSINGS … WHERE THEY WILL

The mind dances here and there, rarely in a linear fashion. So what’s on my mind these days? How about counting on these fingers?

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  1. So strange to awaken with no agenda for the day, no pressing project at hand. To return abed, with coffee. Not that this is normal, by any stretch of the imagination.
  2. My big dream for financial liberation: HAWAIIAN SWEATERS. In northern climates like ours, the popular Hawaiian shirts have about a six-week span of usefulness. But with long sleeves and sufficient heft, their colorful designs just might be welcome for leisure wear the rest of the year. Think of skiing or ice skating or sitting beside the fire. Let me know if you’re interested in investing.
  3. On my way home the other day, had to brake for deer on each side of the road. And then? Such large ears!
  4. Am seeing so many of my literary work turning into history – despite their contemporary focus.
  5. “You write where your soul is” (says Ernest J. Gaines). Not necessarily where your body is.
  6. A long procession – parade – of panel trucks, tractor rigs, pickups – was headed by a hearse. I still don’t know the story.
  7. The Provost’s Wife is quite a character, famous for her parties.
  8. When I’m involved in a project, just plain STOPPING is difficult.
  9. The ocean’s turned wild, restless, throwing big sprays. I’d never be viewing this had that lover returned. Nor would I have written anything of what I have since she left. Seems altogether fitting.
  10. As another said, “Things are slow when it rains.”

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The Ogunquit Art Museum hosts some impressive shows but is open only part of each year.
The Ogunquit Art Museum hosts some impressive shows but is open only part of each year.

 

The central gallery looks out over Perkins Cove, where major artists painted some iconic coastal Maine images in the years before the museum was built.
The central gallery looks out over Perkins Cove, where major artists painted some iconic coastal Maine images in the years before the museum was built.

 

Care to step outdoors?
Care to step outdoors?

YES, ‘TIS DEEPLY INGRAINED IN THE NEW ENGLAND SPIRIT

Autumn truly is New England’s premier season, and I’ve spent much time pondering its influence. Here are some of my reasons:

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Click away as you will.

The color suits our settlements.
The color suits our settlements.

GOING FOR THE GOLD … FOLIAGE

Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.

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  1. We’re well into the foliage watch. Weather plays into it, too. Heavy rain, followed by glorious clear. Or sunlight blazing against slate-gray clouds. As for the chores, in advance of winter? “I’ve been on my feet all day.”
  2. Each October I revisit the symphonies of Charles Ives. It’s not just his birthday month but also an acknowledgement of his deep New England roots. The annual tradition often leads to the symphonies of George Whitefield Chadwick and then John Knowles Paine. Inevitably, I wind up with the one symphony and the piano concerto by Amy Beach. Big, magnificent, often richly Romantic pieces, for the most part. Wish they were much, much better known by the public. (For more.)
  3. A stay-at-home morning: pad about, get some writing and reading in, finally shower and dress at 2 p.m. And then? Swim in the indoor pool.
  4. Am wondering what might have happened if I’d achieved “success” – at any number of points. I would have wound up moving along that groove the rest of my life, likely without exploring many of the other facets I now find overlapping.
  5. My third-floor lair and my loft in the barn are both tree houses!
  6. My wife resisted when I insisted on the dishwasher. How much she objected! My, my, how that’s changed! These days she even argues it can be cheaper than hand-washing the plates and flatware in the sink.
  7. We live close to the state university but partake of so little of its arts programming. Even now that we know where to park.
  8. Bought a new calendar but back home saw it was for the wrong year – this one, rather than next. Still, the illustrations are marvelous.
  9. To gain the reader’s trust is the central issue of each work. It’s how transformation through action across time connects.
  10. Degrees of Truth? Now this really gets complicated.

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Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.
Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.

TOO MANY, TOO MUCH

two horny squirrels on a tree I hate cartoon slapstick … as for real actors … The Dead See Squirrels who know nothing of the next state nor the globe their world branches endlessly, effortlessly and is anything but round the thistle feeder found in one of our coolers … ah! the safe place! a […]