|PEONY FROM COUSIN DICKIE'S GARDEN|
I've been away from home for three-plus weeks now with two to go. Non-stop people mostly the whole time and now I'm holed up on the Upper East Side in NYC till next Sunday and not a moment too soon.
While gone, I have to keep up with my weekly arts and culture column, plus it transpires I'm working on a book about prayer for Loyola Press that is due in October (?) (!) So I will be hunkering down and in for a bit.
Here are some scenes of the incredible places, inhabited by the incredible people, I've been graced to see.
Scenes from a friend's cottage in a small coastal Maine town a bit north of Belfast. Water from pump! Outhouse only! Crazy stands of wild lupine!
A pic that doesn't nearly do justice to an American masterpiece: the elaborate seven-panel piece called "The Seven Sacraments" by George Tooker in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Windsor, Vermont. His painted "Stations of the Cross"--all of Christ's hands--were also breathtaking.
In Newburyport, Mass. I stayed for a night in a wonderful, eccentric-eclectic carriage house studio on the banks of the Merrimack River. Having caught caught Lyme Disease at a stay down the coast in Gloucester a couple of years back, I slathered on Deet and set out for a walk into the nearby 450-acre Maudslay State Park. While I was there, the heavens parted (coincidence?: I DON'T THINK SO) and I became drenched to the bone, semi-lost, and completely enchanted. That was one of the best interludes of my trip.
Back home in California, Gov. Jerry Brown, to his everlasting credit, just signed bills to enact six new gun control laws.
I pray with all my heart the sanity continues.