I have tickets for my autumn trip now, and I received a letter from my host welcoming me to join the party. I have been excited before, but the fact that I am really going is accented by the small details that I must remember. Prosaic things like having to remember to buy travel-size toiletries and to bring walking shoes become sparkling hints and clues like a legend on a map. Some things only do I know: there will be unfamiliar names on the maps, and maybe there will be cobblestones on the streets.
Tonight, at this house, there have been very strong winds that do not whip around or buffet stones but instead whistle through the cracks in the windows and doors. It sometimes feels as if there was an ocean lapping at the doorstep, making our haven treacherous to find and dangerous to navigate to. The winds come in September, a shadow of what they will be at full height and frenzy in November. Right now they are just crazymaking.
I'm sitting at the kitchen table this late at night with a cup of Earl Grey tea and knowing beyond doubt that the soles of my feet are clean and pink. This thought is comforting.
Wind whines and whines the shingle,
The crazy pierstakes groan;
A senile sea numbers each single
--james joyce, On the Beach at Fontana