Climbing Back On


As the Tour De France approaches, weekend pelotons on Long Island are common.
  • After falling off a horse or bicycle, one is supposed to immediately climb back on to avoid long-term fear and avoidance of the activity in the future.  So I am restarting this blog after a few weeks absence during which, for various reasons, I went through a period of crisis of confidence.
  • I guess if I were a writer this would have been considered writer’s block.  Mostly, I just didn’t see any reason to exert myself.  Why bother posting each day?  Why not just wander the world, enjoy it, look around, happy to be?  What is the use, especially at my age and situation, in attempting anything more than living each moment well?
  • My search for answers continues.  Mostly, though, I find that trying to express myself is a way to build my own inner intensity and appreciation.  That is true even when I know there are no other readers, and no logical reason in the world to post a blog.  Consequently, I will allow myself this one week of wallowing in mental self-pity, and then get on with something I have found I missed.


Profuse honeysuckle sweetly scents the salty breeze.
  • Stonehenge is famous as a calendar to determine solstice.  Summer solstice in temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere is, of course, pleasant but also marks the moment when days start to shorten and winter becomes inevitable.  Huge stones in vast circles are variously interpreted, but surely were partially constructed to remind people of the repetitive circularity of seasons.
  • Now all foliage is full and flush over hills and underfoot.  Spring flowers have gone to seed, summer flowers are bursting into bloom.  There are still almost no signs of autumn, later blossoms are holding off, inevitable fraying and drying of leaves has hardly started.  Insects are just beginning to swarm numerously, but remain less annoying than they will be.
  • Hard to remain morose long in such a setting.  Our brains are stubborn, however, and good at resisting external influences.  So depression can occur even on a fine, bright, perfect summer afternoon.  
  • Today another example of perfect weather.  I must be off and out and singing my way, inconsequential as it may be.


Freshly mowed vast green lawn, swallows swooping, perfect early summer at Coindre Hall.
  • “It doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” – Casablanca
  • True.  Nor one those of little person.  But it’s my hill of beans …


Sunsets require a professional photographer, but sometimes I can’t resist trying.
  • Humans have existed for a flicker of geologic time, civilization for much less than that.  Both seem about to vanish within a few lifetimes.  We’ve survived by the skin of our teeth before, perhaps we will pull ourselves out of destruction yet again.
  • But in the meantime, each life has been glorious.  I am more and more convinced that human intelligence is unique.   A once-in-infinity chance that never happened and never will happen anywhere anywhen else.   Geologic time is meaningless compared to a single second of our awareness.  Each person is more important than any of the trillions and trillions of presumed planets anywhere else.
  • Of course, you know that.  Part of humanness is having a sense of self-meaning and importance.  Our perspective is grandiose, our being is what counts, when our hours end something that never existed before and never will again also vanishes.
  • Why, then, do we bother to strive beyond simple survival?  A question with no answer except in ourselves, in our daily lives, in our inner being.  From one perspective, everything we do is futile and doomed, sooner or later.  But viewed from our real central core, we are truly masters of our universe.


Wild wheat matures early as temperatures rise, bountiful crop from frequent rains.
  • Thunderstorms are expected this time of year around here.  Usually there is a preliminary period of oppressive heat and humidity, when I struggle to do all the normal little things I enjoy.  Then dark clouds roll by, thunder rolls and eventually cracks as lightning strikes,  rain pours down like a waterfall.  When quiet returns everything is wet and steaming, the temperature drops, air clears, and for a few days there are wallows of mud and clouds of newly-hatched gnats and mosquitoes.  But soon enough everything is back to being merely summer pleasant, and life goes on happily.
  • That is a fair metaphor for some of the conflicts in my own personality.  I sometimes go through thick heat and nasty storm and ev
    entually emerge _ not so much refreshed as reset.  Trying to control such periods seems as impossible as dictating the weather.  


In a secluded corner of Caumsett, not at all worried about tall grass, ticks, and Lyme disease.
Hank grazes verdant long grass in the corner of a hillside field, Billy leans against a dilapidated rail fence nearby.  Hot sun pours down into stifling air filled with sounds of crickets.
“So, which one of us will it be?” wonders Billy out loud.
“You, for sure,” answers Hank, raising his head.  “He hasn’t been horseback in ages.  I’m just a literary convention.”
“He hasn’t been on a bicycle for a long time either, you know.”
“Maybe neither, then.  Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” remarks Hank, trying to show off his cultural pretensions.
“But he talks about it all the time.  ‘Get back on’ he keeps saying.”
“Just something humans do.  They worry all the time.  Different than us.”
“Well, I do wish he _ or someone _ would ride me somewhere.  I’m starting to rust out here.”
“Me, on the other hand, I like the peace and quiet and wish they’d leave me alone.  Oh oh, here the girls come now _ school must be out.  It’ll be groom and saddle and ride all afternoon.  No rest for the weary.”
“Maybe he’ll come by and rescue me,” muses Billy wistfully.
“Don’t hold your breath.  He talks the talk, that’s it.”
“Nice afternoon, Hank.”

“You too, old pal.”


Field of ripe grain, ready for harvest, but this crop fortunately reserved for wildlife.
Summer has icumon in
Loudly sing … oh the heck with it
Poetry is as dead as other arts
Coopted by toothpaste and patent medicines
No one has time or energy
To decode tangled imagery or patterns
Too easy to ask Siri

Is it summer?  Wow!

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