Letter From Claverack 08 12 15 An interesting evening in Claverack…

Yesterday, the world was drenched with rain; it continued through the night and when I went for my morning coffee the deck was sodden but the sky was bright with sunshine and hope for the day. The creek was a muddy brown and high from all the rain.

There was a bit of a chill in the air; so much so that I didn’t want to venture out onto the deck for that morning cup of coffee and a perusal of the Times. I returned to bed and read there, sipping coffee and enjoying the warmth of my bedroom.

I had an 11:00 AM meeting in Hudson. Finishing that, I went down to Relish and had the soup of the day, wandered up to Ca’Mea for a glass of wine while finishing reading the book I had and then home. It was a thoroughly civilized afternoon.

Now I am at home; jazz is playing on Pandora. I am on the deck. While the creek is still a bit muddy, it is reflecting back the green from the trees in that wonderful mirror like quality it can have. The setting sun is warm on my back; the threatened thunderstorms have not materialized today.

As I often do, I feel content here on the deck, looking over the creek, music in the background. It fills me with an enormous peace.

However, while I have been living in the peaceful bubble of Martha’s Vineyard and the cottage, the world has not been peaceful.

In Tianjin, China at least seven people have been killed and at least 300 injured in a blast. That is not peaceful. And it is not peaceful in the markets today. The Chinese are devaluing the Yuan and that is causing market hysteria. Something is askew in China and the devaluation of the Yuan is the harbinger. They are in trouble in China and these moves are reflections of those troubles. The markets in China have been crashing. Something profound is going on in China and we all need to pay attention because it will affect everything in our lives. China is now that big. They’re in trouble and are trying to contain that trouble.

A Croatian, kidnapped in Cairo, has apparently been beheaded by IS in the Sinai. That, too, is not peaceful.

Jimmy Carter, the best ex-President we’ve had, is 90 years old and now suffering from cancer. Well-wishers are coming out of the woodwork. I didn’t vote for him but wasn’t sorry he was elected. His Presidency was flawed but his presence since then has been unflawed. We are nearing the end of his life and I will be sorry to see him go when he does, probably farther in the future than we imagine.

Kim Jong-un, that pudgy little North Korean dictator, has been executing more people that don’t agree with him. He lines them up and lets a huge cannon blow them to smithereens. Just the sort of thing one expects from him. The most recent victim seemed to have disagreed with him on his forestry policy. Ouch. Not a pretty way to go.

When I was young I wanted to be an Egyptologist. It is not what happened with my life but I am still fascinated. There are those who say that behind the walls of the tomb of King Tutankhamen may lay the tomb of his mother, Nefertiti, who has entranced us forever. I spent an hour with her statue in Berlin a year or so ago. She is a haunting creature that has captured our attention for thousands of years. I will wait for this story to play out. I am fascinated by it. Never became an Egyptologist but doesn’t mean I’m not interested.

The sun sets in the west. It is a beautiful evening in Claverack. I rejoice in being here, far from the madness that rules the world.

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