From Martha’s Vineyard — written on the 4th of July, 2018

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It has been a long time since I have blogged, longer than any time in the seventeen years that I have been writing.

It is, as I write this, the 4th of July 2018 and I am on Martha’s Vineyard, in a little guest house that I jokingly [and fondly] refer to as “The Best Most Exotic Marigold Hotel” guest house as it reminds me of nothing so much as a hotel room in India which presents itself as being more than it is.  It is a mash of conflicting colors and designs, worn but still utilitarian furniture, posters from museum shows long ago.  It has ants and I had a mouse I think I have successfully driven away using sonic devices and lavender smelling sachets from a company that has been discouraging mice since the 1920’s.

Once I had looked it in the eye, I couldn’t kill it.  Or perhaps it killed itself as it had a penchant for ant poison.  But, fingers crossed, it has not made an appearance since the night we stared each other down in the kitchen at 2 in the morning.

Everything is a little tilted and off kilter, the floor sags in spots but not so much I fear falling through.

Generally, I eat here infrequently, usually having something during the day at BTB, Behind the Bookstore, which is behind Edgartown Books, which is where I am this summer, helping my friends, Joyce and Jeffrey, who own it and the restaurant.

Since they built their home here, I’ve been coming.  In 2016, I came for a few weeks to help get it going and stayed for two months.  This year, I am here for the summer.  Jokingly, I tell friends I am a monk and my monastery is the bookstore.  There is a small but growing pile of books I have consumed so far, most recently, “Circe” by Madeline Miller.  Recommended; get past her days in her father’s palace and you have a wonderful read, not that the first is bad, it just gets so much better.

One of the reasons, I slowed my blogging was that I have intertwined my personal life with events out in the world and it became so difficult to do that during this presidency.  To say I am appalled, is so an understatement.  Every morning, I wake and read the briefing in the New York Times and am – gobsmacked, as a Brit would say.

So, I became silent, introspective.  Detached but not uninterested.  I call my Congressman, a Republican, and protest and protest and protest.  And I wonder what more I can do?

It is unimaginable to me but apparently true that 45% of the people in this country think our president is doing a fine job, and that includes my sister and brother-in-law.  When I return from the island, I will spend some time helping the Democratic candidate in my district, though I suspect the Democrats have nominated someone who is unelectable in our district.

The Republican Party, in which I grew up, is unrecognizable to me today.  As a toddler, I wore “I Like Ike” buttons and, though Catholic, we supported Nixon.  Where is that party?  Not anywhere I can find.

Neither a Democrat nor a Republican, I find more these days to dislike in Republicans than I do with Democrats.

I doubt there has been a more dizzying time in D.C. since the scandal plagued days of Warren G. Harding.  [Teapot Dome, among other things.]

Having finished “Circe,” I have gone on to “Bunker Hill” by Nathaniel Philbrick, seeking understanding of our national roots.  Just a few pages in and I already feel a better man for choosing it as my next read.

They were quite the crew, those Bostonian rebels – and I think we should all know more about them, based on this reading.

 

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