Monday night. Rain gone for a bit, well, the past two days. Which translates, predictably, to colder temperatures here. E-heat just kicked on in spite of the wood stove in front of which two blue-eyed, half-Siamese cats lounge on Presidential rockers. What if Neil is right, it’s all a dream, only a dream, fading now, fading away? Then we’d all be better off migrating to Venice, the dreamy city according to all I read. Hell, there are only 60,000 residents, I’m sure they’d take on an English-speaking American with French glasses and some investments in TIAA-CREF.
Today was a dream: of sun, bright skies, clear air, walking and talking, vistas to snow-covered volcanoes 100 miles away in the Cascades. I drove to and from Salem on two-lane back roads, through small towns, farm fields, vineyards, hazelnut orchards, the fruit tree acreage under high water just over the Independence Bridge and onto the Salem River Road. Water, water everywhere. Same cluster of men—Mexican I’m sure, pruning and tidying, maybe dealing with storm damage?—in the fields at the Blue Heron farm this morning when I headed over and, at suppertime, driving back. What was the story of their day?
My day was conversation punctuated with following a two-year old around. Pushes on a swing. Steps up a muddy, city park bank. Asparagus soup and salad with lemon chicken. Fizzy water and cheesy crackers. Talking and listening and attempts at explanation. The serendipity of meeting and talking with newcomers to Salem near the swings in the park. Truly a day in the life.
Tomorrow, I return to my worries. But, for now, Neil sings about dreaming and the moon, white and lustrous—really that word is apt—haunts the black night above this moment, my peregrinations, what can’t be anything but the authentic version of this, a life, my life.
The public domain image above is an 1848 painting by Peder Balke, “The North Cape by Moonlight.”