The gray fog and wind have been an invitation to pull books from the stacked piles. Last night we each lit an illegal here sparkler at my neighbor's house and captured one glimpse of the moon before the fog gobbled it back up and we heard the fireworks, but mainly it's introspection for me.
I am reading a book loaned to me by my son: Seven Tenths, The Sea and Its Thresholds by James Hamilton-Paterson. My son said I won't be able to again eat fish when I finish it and I realize I don't think I've eaten fish since it arrived and awaited the opening of its pages to light.
There is a chapter called Objects of Desire. It seems most, if not all, harbor the fantasy of our own private island. Many islands, at this point, have been turned into money machines, and most of us probably view an island of our own as not a possibility, and yet, he writes:
"There is one last kind of island, one whose elusive presence flickers at the edge of vision, quick as fish. This is the imaginary island faithfully mapped in every psyche, mostly unsuspected, infrequently discovered, even more rarely inhabited. An outcropping of the self, it lies across a treacherous strait which discourages acquisitiveness and, even on clear blue days, may have vanished as it it were roaming the oceans in search of the one worthy inhabitant. Then on a rare day the rare person wakes and it has swum out of the corner of his eye and stands before him. One such a morning it takes no effort to cross over, paddle flashing in the sun, until the skiff's bows nudge grindingly into the shore.
And then what pleasure to set up a hut, a fish drier; to pare things back to water and light, to knives and spearpoints, to order and silence! All men have an island, Donne should have said, for a suspended wheel rim being beaten in a cement block chapel on the distant mainland ought to tell us no more than the fish curling and flapping between our hands, bleeding rusty threads into the sea. That steely tolling from across the water brings no news, nothing we do not already know as later we climb the headland to watch soft dusk well up over the world's rim and efface the ocean below. It is not interesting to tot up the sunsets seen and perhaps to come. Those deaths, our deaths, are not plangent affairs but matters of geology. We are all at best marginalia in another era's fossil record. Go down to the hut instead through a drift of fireflies. Light the lamp, cook rice. There is nobody else on this island; there never was and never could be. Outside, the waves wring green flashes from plankton. The great mineral machine turns its fluid gears. The firefly in the thatch tugs us into its gravitational field."
And there, soul is fueled!