Sunday, December 10, 2017


Dear Beloved,

What can I do?  I cannot fathom when my over-joy and my over-enthusiasm slide into over-bearing!

I want to be demure, of course, like the dickens I do!  As we all do, like the Edwardian novels, but I get carried away by delight with the planet.  I am tumbling down the hill of possibilities face first and everyone around me is horrified.  It seems a shame that our most ingrained attributes are merely annoying and irritating to the Rest of the World.  I know that often that group includes you.

On the opposite side of the coin, there is me, and my sometimes frustration with what seems like apathy.  I get angry that you don't want to run down the street to the Byzantine basilica, or yet another ice cream stand.  How can you shun these delights?

 I read a fine expression of this feeling in Tove Jansson's book Sculptor's Daughter.  She tells of a frustrated woman who is making a mosaic of pebbles on some steps.  Ms. Jansson asks the woman why she doesn't seem to like playing, and writes that she "got fed up with her because she wasn't happy.  I don't like it when people find life difficult.  It gives me a bad conscience and then I get angry and begin to feel that they might as well go somewhere else." 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Late Fall Light.

Dear Near and Far,

It's like an Albert Bierstadt painting, isn't it?  I never say that we "are blessed," because that takes away our power to be pouty or joyous, pitiful or cranky, and gives it all to an impersonal (higher?) power.  What I say, is that beauty is everywhere, and it is free for the taking.  There are delights aplenty out there.

In Chinese painting of long ago, especially of the celebrated Song Dynasty, the artists specialized in landscapes with atmospheric perspective.  It looked like this image of the creek bed, and like this. 
Atmospheric, or aerial perspective refers to the misty, undefined areas in a painting serving as indicators of distance between objects in the near and far.  In other words, we read the mountains in the back as farther away from us because they are softer, blurred, less distinct.
Between now and then, abide in the misty interstices between near and far; there will be more on delight anon.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lateral Acceleration, or, How to Not Be An Asshole.


Dear Doctors and Lawyers and All the Rest,

Say, are you feeling down in the dumps?  Is your life meaningless?  You bet it is!  But, there are still things you can do and ideas to consider, so dig into this, and think about how you are moving through life, and if you don't absolutely adore your daily routine, you have my complete support in abandoning it entirely.  I look forward to reading about you in the New York Times!

Silly fruit loops are optional.  By that I mean that true Outsider Roller Skaters use what they now call "quad skates" to avoid confusion with what roller skaters (of the quad kind) like to call inline skates.  Oddly enough, the very first roller skates were inline, too, but you still won't catch me in 'em, because how it looks is all-important, and I don't mean vanity, I mean style.