Postfestival Blues


Parts of the harbor finally succumb to deep cold with a skimming of ice.  The warm water has been very resistant this year,  these floating patches the first sign of freeze.  Even so, only the upper fresh water layer is affected _ out near the inlet the salt water looks like mid July.

Most lights have been taken down, most decorations put away.  All guests have gone home.  Daily routines have resumed in all their dull glory.  The party is over, even the hangover the party is over, and now the hard wait for spring truly begins.  An easy time to ignore, to hide from, to try to forget.  And yet _ as always _ there is deep beauty in the always fresh scenes each morning, loveliness in the rich colors of southern sunset.

Hushed frozen wind
Words thoughts fail

Wonder or infirmity of age?

Answers slide vague as air

This bay into Lloyd Neck lies beyond the harbor inlet, and the waters out here are slightly more frigid and unpolluted.  A freeze can almost resemble “the good old days” when everything _ even Long Island Sound itself _ would occasionally ice over in the more normally harsh winters.

On the one hand, I regret those times have passed.  For one reason or another, the waters run free almost all year, every year.   There is a worry about what that may mean.  But, on the other hand, I only have today to enjoy it all anyway.  What reason have I to be troubled of past and future?  Things will change _ they always do _ and whoever is around then will have to adapt and enjoy whatever there is, as I have done with what has been around now.

By necessity or choice

Some people must perform

Tasks alone and difficult

While I try to stay warm


A dock in Northport village could be Maine, gulls and all.  Northport is known to be picturesque, but many of the commercial photographs concentrate on summer evenings.  The iced harbor hosts a wind that bites to the bone and sucks heat out no matter how warmly dressed you are.

Yet there is a clear channel in the middle of the harbor, where working boats continue to go in and out as long as the ice remains thin enough.   I suppose those folks are extremely proud of how hardy they are _ I would be.  Nevertheless, I’m always amazed that in this day and age people can still be found to do such tough and difficult and presumably nasty work.


Irresistible force of the tide meets unmovable object of the rocks and the loser is _ the ice.   Here are all the elements of a good tale or proverb, not excepting the dead reeds that will eventually return no matter what and the encroaching works of man destined for eventual dust. 

Proverbs and tales and thoughts of irresistible and immovable are plentiful and comforting.  They all lie.  The world is all relative and contradictory and complex and there are no absolutes.  Deeper cold for longer and glaciers wou
ld halt the tides and move the rocks.  Desperate heat for longer would remove the reeds and eventually the people.  Goldilocks environment is in delicate balance, for which the only appropriate tale is one of worry.


Imagine how strange a scene like this would look to some primitive from the tropics who had never known snow or ice.  Even for me, the sharp shadows and reflections can make it resemble some setting from a science fiction movie on another planet.  Yet it is part of all the “normal” taken for granted every day.

One of the hardest tasks I find, in a world of electronic distractions, is to maintain a sense of wonder at the “ordinary.”   I become dulled by the repetition of moments, and forget how precious each one is.  I set out strenuously looking for something wonderful, when wonderful is everywhere I wish to concentrate my being.



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