Post Card

Dear L.,

We got your post card today. Delighted to hear what a great time you are having. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not sending a land letter, but so be it.  Today I finished clearing out the large garden behind the garage that for who knows how many years has become overgrown, here in our new house that we love more every day because of: The yard, the neighbors, the porch, the tiny back balcony, the secret little drawers. I did accidentally cut the stem of the one plant A. repeatedly said he wanted to save, a very old grape vine hanging over the garden fence.  I apologized, many times.  The Buddha says only one arrow, but I gave myself three or four for that one.  

Has it already been a year since we saw each other, and you suggested I start a blog?  Look at all that's happened and look at all that hasn't.  We just got back from a trip out east.  One day in D.C. I had the entire afternoon to myself.  I walked from Georgetown to the Mall and just before passing the White House, it started to rain.  Of course, there happened to be a museum right there, open and free. The Renwick Gallery of American Craft.  You would have loved their 40 Under 40 exhibit, especially the work of Sabrina Gschwandter (what a name!) a woman who has created quilts out of 16mm film and polyamide thread, and that of Stephanie Liner, an upholsterer from North Carolina who made an egg shaped piece of furniture that is also a dress, the sedentary wearer of which can be observed through small round windows.  

Meanwhile, I've been reading the work of a Polish journalist named Ryszard Kapuscinski (what a name!) who unfortunately died in 2007, otherwise I would send him a letter of appreciation.  While traveling around the world reporting on wars and famines and art exhibitions he carried with him the work of Herodotus, an ancient Greek who also traveled the world (as he knew it) recording the stories people told about the Greco-Persian wars. These are things I knew nothing about, but now know a little more, mostly, how startlingly brutal people were long before the advent of gun powder.  Herodotus makes observations about how lonely it is to be a traveler, going everywhere and fitting in nowhere and in highlighting these passages I take it that Kapuscinski related whole-heartedly.  

Yesterday I started Andrew Weil's book Spontaneous Happiness since supposedly, I'm going to start teaching that very subject to a group of high-schoolers in just a few weeks.  In trying to sort out why there is such an epidemic of depression in our modern industrialized society, Weil argues that, among other reasons, our brains are not suited for the lifestyle we've created for ourselves.  He is quick to point out that just because people tend to be happier in less modernized societies does not mean that their lives are easier.  ". . . . Hard does not mean depressed, just as easy does not mean content."

Somehow, all these things must be related since I've chosen to tell you about them, though like so many things, it's unclear exactly how.  A. has managed to get himself TWO trips to Puerto Rico in the next three months. Don't even ask.  And next week, he is driving to Durango with S.H. (Yes, that S.H.) to go mountain biking for a week.  I'd tell you something funny about the kids, but this is already an obscenely long email.  Thanks for reading. I'm grateful for that.

Love, love, love and a safe return home.

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