Letter From New York July 27, 2014

Letter From New York

Or, as it seems to me…

It is a mercilessly grey day in Claverack. A medium hard rain falls outside the cottage and far away thunder rattles the skies. It is a drear day; so dark it is actually hard to see to the end of my property.

It is the flip side of yesterday, so lusciously beautiful that it caused a heart to ache – perfect skies, perfect temperature, a day lazed away in idle pursuits, antique shopping on Hudson’s Warren Street, a leisurely stroll through the little Farmer’s Market, then reading on the deck while the creek languidly slipped by on its way to the pond. It was a splendid afternoon. The wind caused the tall branches to brush against one another, their rustling the music of the afternoon. The reflections of light on the creek with the stirring of the water by the breeze resulted in thoughts of pointillism.

This austere day is made for contemplation. It cries for thought as I stare out the window by my desk, on the rain-drenched drive of the cottage, casting my mind out into the world.

It is hardly prettier out there this week; the Ukrainian crisis still unfolds. Body parts still apparently lie in the debris field of MH17, most certainly brought down by a missile. Putin seems to be doubling down on supporting the pro-Russian rebels. Two doctors leading the fight against Ebola have contracted the disease. I cannot tell from this morning’s headlines if there is or is not a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. The ill-fated Costa Concordia reached its final resting spot. The United States has evacuated the embassy in Libya because of escalating violence. The Taliban reclaim tracts of Afghanistan. The Boko Haram have kidnapped the wife of the Vice Prime Minister of Cameroon. Forest fires plague the drought stricken state of California with no rain in the forecast. An Air Algerie flight fell from the sky over Mali.

The litany of the world’s trials and travails could go on and on. They are enough to cause us to climb into our bunkers and hunker down for the duration. And that may be a bit of what I do when I retreat to the cottage and indulge in the beauty that surrounds me. If I focus too much on the world an existential ennui falls upon me and I feel I cannot breathe.

For all the dark things happening in the world, there was still laughter on the street yesterday. Hot dogs were purchased from Rick’s stand at 6th and Warren. Ice cream cones were being consumed from Lick, farther down Warren. Little children careened down the street, chased after by parents. Newborns rode in carriages. People find jobs and sit down for meals. The world keeps going on and, in that, I find solace.

It is like this moment, when suddenly the rain stopped and the sun burst through the clouds to dapple the land with its light. The earth abides, hope survives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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