The Californians have been here two weeks now. Our bubble has shrunk by two as Mark and Norah started their journey back home this morning, after picking up a rental car at the airport yesterday. We hoped it would be different, with Mark settled into his rented office in downtown Bigfork for summer’s duration, but it turns out that Norah’s counselor job at a day camp in Berkeley is happening after all. We suspect it will have to shutdown–as with so many other things in this time of coronavirus–and the two of them will need to go back into quarantine in their own home. So be it, it is what it is. Despite lots of cool and rainy weather during these two weeks, there were days and evenings, like yesterday, when it felt like summer. Norah took her final frigid swim out to the sailboat and back last night. We’d had a couple of sailboat rides, read our books in the sunshine by the water, kayaked, painted with Carol, and enjoyed some lovely conversations–a light touch of summer together, in spite of it all.
I was sad to see them go. I’ve been sad a lot this past week with the virus on a menacing rise, and our disastrous president who wears no clothes. I’ve been sad to see how the pall of Covid-19 shrouds our young teens. They’ve not left their home or seen friends in four months, and they do not believe Berkeley schools will open for in-person classes this coming fall. They retreat into their screens. Cormac, nearly 13, used to spend much of his California days in endless hours of baseball practice and games. Now, he told Don, who keeps asking him to play catch, “What’s the point? There isn’t even any baseball anymore.” On my morning walks, I find that a certain smell can make me so melancholy for days that felt halcyon in my youth and I built hideouts, alone, in the Ohio woods, or when I once felt strong and powerful and my hips didn’t ache. I keep remembering that article which passed around on Facebook a couple of months ago– “That uncomfortable feeling you’re having is grief.”
Well, we move on, do our bit, and, here it is, almost July. The Fourth of July is always the traditional start of summer weather and we’re looking forward to more time in the water, s’more campfires, and some hikes in the mountains. Val has announced that the transition period is over and there’s going to be a change in the pattern of the boys’ days. I believe that today includes a family house-cleaning session. For me, I plan to buck myself up, and just keep showing up I guess, like we all must do. And, I’ll be on the watch/the gods will offer you chances.
The Laughing Heart
your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
— by Charles Bukowski
You wrote more than HCRichardson tonight. She gave up and sounded close to despair. I feel bad for young people. Many will boost their resilience but others will become more vulnerable. The Hicks family is in q-tine for two weeks after camping this weekend.
Three days ago I gave up on humanity. I am trying to make some peace. I think Val has it right. The days have to change. ❤️