We’re on the front end of the Labor Day long weekend. How did that happen? The nature of summer in New England is such that we’re all a little more weekend warrior-ish than normal this time of year, but I think I’ve felt that accelerated summer feeling even more this year since it’s my first year spending a summer – easing into it from spring, existing in the full of it (and its humidity…ug), and drifting out of it as the days get shorter – in this part of the world in nearly 10 (!) years. And it feels so good. Fall is upon us, which this year brings Andy Goldsworthy into my head.
Am I also thinking about things dying and the ephemera of it all? Maybe a little bit, because of the season as well as some recent events. Cheerful, I know. But rest assured, I’m still an optimist. And while I’m thinking about the height of the growing season winding down, I’ve also got that back-to-school feeling where I want to buy new pencils, dust off my backpack and reinvent myself a little bit for the year to come. Be a little bit better than last year’s version. The year starts in January, yes, but there’s a 12-month clock that starts at Labor Day for me, too (there’s also a State of the Robin Union I also take at my birthday in July…not sure what it means but it is what it is).
If you’ve never heard of Andy Goldsworthy, take a peek at his work and see if it does anything for you. It’s in and of nature and natural elements and I find it more interesting and meaningful to me as I get older.
I’ll once again be roving New England (destination: Cape Cod) this weekend. Hope you’re getting out of Dodge (or Boston, or DC, or NYC…), too.
Let’s interrupt our regularly scheduled blog programming (whatever that is ) for an art moment.
In that spell of silence, I rustled up for you Mr. Adam Belt. I believe it was Amy Meier’s Instagram that pointed me to this creative wonder, and I’m so thankful for the injection of inspiration.
Above, I like the title almost as much as the work itself: “A Religious Experience.”
And to the left – “Convergence” – makes me think first about beach erosion, and second about how sad it’d be if the beach included concrete blocks. I find it beautiful in a way that surprises me, because I don’t tend to gravitate toward imagery that is at all industrial (which I know is an oversimplification here but I’ll let it stand. It’s my blog and I do what I want.)
Last, “A Hole is a Thing in a Hole it is Not.” Looks like quite a setup and vaguely reminiscent of some nocturnal shots from this art star I blogged about for her poetry selection skills.
The Boston Globe Magazine published a profile of this guy. Aside from sporting a rockin’ mustache Angus King would be jealous of, Walter Willett is a nutrition crusader of the first degree — so of course I’m buying what he’s selling. Mr. Willett is the Frederick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition Chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. Oh, and he’s Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Your classic underachiever.
He’s a little more Puritan than I’d like to live — but his wife, though similarly health-minded, lets loose a bit more, which is refreshing. Everyone needs a little chocolate now and then, even if your diet is 95% green juice (and mine certainly is not).
I bring WW into the blog picture because I like his no-nonsense approach. He’s not about quick fixes or fads but about keeping it simple. Unprocessed. Unfiltered. Think he has good rules to live by from a nutrition standpoint, but also from a general life POV, too. So read up on Walter Willett, the most-often-cited nutritionist in the world. Yes, the world.
My adventurous friends, Clare and Drew, got married over the weekend in Calistoga, CA, up in the Napa hills. To say it was enchanting is an understatement. One of the highlights for me (aside from the wine and food, let’s be honest) was learning of the poem below, found and later read by Gillian Bostock during the ceremony.
by Denise Levertov
Fluttering strips of paper strung on cord
tied to the ship’s rail.
‘How deep the waves’ blue!’
‘How bright the foam!’
‘Wind and light
‘How the sea’s plumage
These are prayers.
not to beseech.
Among them, leaning
toward the water, we voyage
are voyaged, seeing.
We share among us
the depth of day, are borne
swiftly as arcs of spray.
on our lips,
on ruffled paper. Soon
the words will fly on their torn strips
Silent, smiling, receiving
joyfully what we are given
each to each
our absolute presence.
And you may ask yourself, Well, how did I get here?…
And you may tell yourself,
This is not my beautiful house.
And you may tell yourself,
This is not my beautiful wife.
I’m reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. “Intellectual hedonism” is the phrase that comes to mind. That, and I’m thinking a lot about what it felt like to be a new college graduate and how I comparatively feel now (is this where I say YOLO? If so…keep waiting).
It’s time to restore the balance in my life so I don’t wake up one day and wonder where the rat race took me. Note that I fully acknowledge that much of this self-reflectivity stems from a recent trip to San Francisco and Napa. My at-least-once-a-year trips in that direction seem to be good for my soul, bleeding-heartish as that sounds. But it’s true. And I’m OK with it…especially since this time I literally went to San Francisco…and had flowers in my hair. Yet again, walking cliché: that’s me.