July 18th, 2006

Book Cover

Good Morning!!

Yesterday,  I decided to walk to town which is a couple of miles, so I headed out with the sun perched on my shoulder like a parrot.

 A bunny sits, pure scenery, in every yard.  A live bunny, not one of stone or ceramic, and, so, this place continues picturesque as can be.   I see benches along the way, but, until I see a woman sitting on one, I don't realize there is a transit system.   For a dollar, I ride the last mile into town, and share a delightful conversation with a woman who lives here all year, though she does spend two months in the winter in Florida.  She is on her way into town to play bridge.  There are 14 people in her house and she needs out.   I think of Timothy, the tortoise, out to explore.

My first stop is the book store.  I find five books on Nantucket.  I need to better understand where I am.   Now, I can learn about whaling and the wives of the whalers and what surrounds me now, and what has been in the past.   I find a coffee shop, Beans,  and perch on a stool for a bit,, checking people out,  but then, decide, the water is my place, so I sit on the rail of a dock and imagine the past.   Because I am inbetween time-wise the majority of the shoppers and the beginning of the diners, I feel myself as part of the past, and can well imagine myself waiting for the whaling ships.  The church bells chime the time. 

The house is filled with books, and my brother is a painter, so he leads me to one on Van Gogh.   In October of 1888, Van Gogh wrote to his sister.

    "The great majority of the painters, because they aren't colourists in the true sense of the word, do not see these colours there, and they call a painter mad if he sees with eyes other than theirs."

Marc Edo Tralbaut says about these words.  "In these lapidary words, Vincent has defined the whole magic of painting."

There is something about Nantucket where one truly feels the vibration of color, and what it means.  I am allowing more colors to enter my range. 

The whole country is sweltering today, and yet, there is a lovely breeze here, with the possibility of rain.  I read about the seasons, and imagine what it would be to spend a year here.  There are 10,000 permanent residents, with 50,000 people here in August.  There are probably about 40,000 here right now.  

This is an island shaped like a huge whale flipping its tail.  It is 14 miles long, and 3 and a half miles at its broadest point.  There are 55 miles of sandy beaches.   Where I am right now, there is no one in the world but me.   Gar is bicycling.   Jan is playing tennis, and Katy is at a friend's.

The garbage man came by this morning.  He comes to the house and hand carries the bags away.   They have recycling.   It feels so human to have the garbage man come right to your door to chat.  There is no clattering and banging of cans and trucks.  The garbage is passed, hand to hand.   We pass cemeteries each day.   There is a reminder of death, and recycling, a tension to the life here, that I like.  All is so tangible.   This is an island with an awareness of where things go.  Of course, I am wondering where the electricity comes from, as I read of power outages around the states.  

Herman Melville in Moby Dick wrote:

    "Nantucket!  Take out your map and look at it.  See what a real corner of the world it occupies; how it stands there, away offshore .... a mere hillock, elbow of sand;  all beach without a background."

Sit on the rivers of stone and imagine that!!
Book Cover

Books -

This home is filled with books.  I begin reading A Walk on the Beach by Joan Anderson.    She meets a wonderful woman, Joan Erikson, on the beach, who becomes her guide.  Joan Erikson was wife of Erik Erikson, a pioneer in psychoanalysis.

Joan Anderson summarizes the philosophy of Joan Erikson in these words.

    Welcome each day like a good meal.

    The essence of a life well digested comes from knowing your strengths, overdosing on the senses, and remaining active and playful.

    Keep your hands on the plow - push - don't ever stop pushing.

    Always be willing to give a little more energy - the tension should always be there.

    Then your life will never go limp.