Sunday, April 21, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Sunday last, decades late and on the fly, I finally made it to Bethel Woods, AKA, Woodstock. Not much more than a whim, on the way back from a weekend visit to my Aunt Sally’s country house, my cousins and I paid a quick visit to the site and museum.
I missed out on the original. By that time I was married with a 6-month-old daughter, living at the Jersey Shore. Like many of my generation—more than will admit—I experienced it second hand via TV. My aunt, however, the very same I just visited, did make it. She responded to urgent calls for help and brought sandwiches to the muddy minions.
The pull of the place took me by surprise—this despite the obvious corporate sensibility of the born-again pastoral concert space. It is lush, green and well-groomed, patrolled by an equally well-groomed staff in green blazers sporting ID’s around their necks.
It was mid-afternoon and folks were already arriving for the evenings (what’s left of the) Grateful Dead concert. My cousin and I shared a chuckle over the gathering of the faux hippies that live to follow.
You can grab a bite to eat, then stroll the store with everything “Woodstock” you can imagine (except the Peanut’s character). But the jewel in the crown is the museum. I kid you not. More than worth the price of admission, I could have stayed for hours.
More than a history of the iconic festival, it recounts the entire story of the 60s, with multi-media displays reaching back to the clean cut American Bandstand days. You can sit in a flower power bus and watch a flick narrated by those who made the cross country trip. You can slouch in a bean bag chair and gaze up at a HUGE panorama of festival films. The very scope of the scene take ones breath away.
Waves of nostalgia washed over me, not only for the times, but for my youth. It’s cliché but true. It was another world, long gone—and yet just a brief millisecond ago, on the edge of my peripheral vision.
How the hell did I get to be a 65-year-old grey haired granny? And how did that naked, tolerant mass of humanity, squirming in the Catskill mud, become the tight-assed, narrow- minded bunch running this country today?
I really thought we were a better lot.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It’s a bit nippy on the shady side of the street outside No Joes this morning as I sip my brew, aptly named: sledgehammer. This sunny, dry, fall-like weather won’t last. I already see thick clouds closing in—boding a return to the violent summer storms of the past few days.
And that’s okay by me. The storms may be inconvenient, but that doesn’t measure up to REAL summer weather. By that I mean FLORIDA weather. When the worst of the storm hit several days ago, turning the daytime black, with claps of thunder loud enough to shake the dog, I was alone and calm, feeling entirely SAFE. This old Dutch colonial is nothing if not sturdy, with plaster walls so thick you cannot hear from room to room.
At that very moment, my “home” in Sarasota was among the towns being battered and flooded by Tropical Storm Debby. Almost the entire state was underwater and threat of tornadoes, expected to continue for up to five days. Yes, folks, that DAYS, not hours. And it’s a trop storm, not even a hurricane!
As I hung out of my friends cozy couch to wait out the NJ storm, my thoughts flickered to a major drive in leaving the sunshine state in summer—and gratitude washed over me—gratitude for my friend,s generosity of spirit in opening her home to me each summer.
Until I moved to Florida a decade ago, storms were inconvenient, as a journalist there was a bit of a pain, but never were they fearful. As a child growing up on the north shore of Long Island, the hurricanes that reached us were fun times, lit with the glow of candles and flashlights. Of course, it’s easy to be brave in a brick split level under the protection of loving parents. Not having to travel to work also helps.
Unfortunately, I do not live in a condo of brick, or stone, or masonry of any sort. I am one of the other little pigs of story lore, who build—perhaps bought—her house of sticks. Yupper, it’s a 1970s wood condo with a metal roof. The sound of rain bouncing off said roof is enough to drown out the loudest of TV audio.
(An aside: this “house of sticks” is a grand metaphor for me life, eh? Unlike my friends and family who have built their “houses of brick.” Just thought I’d say it before someone like my son pointed it out.)
On the, albeit mild, plus side, Sarasota is considered a relatively secure site, storm wise. Longtime residents crow that the town is a “sacred” place, protected against extreme elements. They point to the area as one the native Indians fled to escape storms in years gone by. In my view however, such arrogance in unfounded, as Sarasota is merely the highest ground around. Note I said highEST which is not all that high. And my particular condo complex is on its crest.
The roads around me flood, but so far, the unit has remained dry. This is particularly fortunate as I no longer have a lick of insurance, sorta going commando.
I try not to think about the wind.
To sum up: Tropical storm there + me here = GRATITUDE