Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Sunday I went to Mass and for a hike in Griffith Park and then I came home, crawled between the cool white sheets of my bed, and lay there all afternoon, drinking iced tea, dreaming, and reading. If that is not a foretaste of heaven, I can't imagine what is.

All outside my bedroom windows are trees.

"Tranquil foliage that really is lived in, a tranquil gaze discovered in the humblest of eyes, are the artisans of immensity. These images make the world grow, and the summer too. At certain hours poetry gives out waves of calm. From being imagined, calm becomes an emergence of being. It is live a value that dominates, in spite of minor states of being, in spite of a disturbed world. Immensity has been magnified through contemplation. And the contemplative attitude is such a great human value that it confers immensity upon an impression that a psychologist would have every reason to declare ephemeral and special. But poems are human realities; it is not enough to resort to "impressions" in order to explain them. They must be lived in their poetic immensity."
--Gaston BachelardThe Poetics of Space

J'habite la tranquillité des feuilles, l’été grandit
(I live in the tranquility of leaves, summer is growing)

--Jean Lescure


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  2. Heather -- Does Los Angeles have the phenomenon known as "humidity"? I visited LA once, in mid-September, and the weather was paradisal: 80 and dry by day, about 50 at night and a bit chilly for summer attire. But I'm thinking that your love of summer might be slightly impaired if Angelenos had to contend with the dewpoints that Bostonians have seen of late (mid-70s!).

  3. I love summer too, if not for the reasons John Updike ascribes:

    " In that latitude the temperature flirted with a hundred degrees for a few of the dog days, but to a child it can hardly ever be too hot. I liked the sun licking the backs of my legs, and the sweat between my shoulder blades, and the violet evenings, with ice cream and fireflies, wherein the long days slowly cooled. I liked the ants piling up dirt like coffee grounds between the bricks of our front walk, and the milkweed spittle in the vacant lot next door. I liked the freedom of shorts and sneakers, and striped T-shirt, and I liked the way I looked in the mirror, with freckles and a short hot-weather haircut.

    We love easily in summer, perhaps, because we love our summer selves.

  4. Drinking iced tea and reading in bed. Indeed, a foretaste of heaven.

  5. Yes, and I intend to do more of it! TS, love the Updike quote (he was a New Englander, too, and I am always homesick this time of year). You're right--we're maybe ever-so-slightly more ourselves, our better selves, in summer....

  6. You're right, Tom, very little humidity here, which makes summer a real joy...though not even humidity really dampens my pleasure in the long days, warm nights, and my birthday month of July...Of course winter has its charms, too, as YOU know!

  7. So,so humid in Windsor and the past few years the same in mom's little village 4 hours away in another part of the province. But, one finds joy where one makes it. The simple things you mention make life full whether in the heat or the cold.


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