This was the July evening by the ocean with a bushel of crabs and a crab-feast worth of cousins.
Posts from July 2012
"To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life,
the light that is shining in them."
"The trick is making memory a blessing,
To learn by loss the cool subtraction of desire,
Of wanting nothing more than what has been,
To know the past forever lost, yet seeing
Behind the wall a garden still in blossom."
~ an excerpt of The Lost Garden by Dana Gioia
Philadelphia's Magic Gardens / Philadelphia, PA / July 2007
"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
~ the delightful Nora Ephron
"Nora was a heroine for an entire generation of women who were looking for love, longing for the truth, and desperate for humor in the midst of life's humiliating, inevitable, devastations." (Melina Bellows)
"You paint for yourself first,
then for your friends,
and then for the people you would like to know."
~ pop-art artist Red Grooms
This was another of those days -- the 4th day -- of that month of July when they feasted on picnic foods and then gathered to play games on the lawn at twilight.
"If the celebration of our patriotic holidays loses that old-time spirit of sincerity, earnestness and high purpose, it will be a sorry day for America. We have learned to smile at the old-fashioned; but let us not fall below our forebears in earnestness and intelligence." (from Dover Dates, 1722-1922: A Bicentennial History of Dover, New Jersey, 1922)
I told my uncle that I'd been down to Wildwood for a few days.
Wildwood, my uncle said with a smile. I used to sleep on the beach there. Under the boardwalk. We would get off work at 6 on Saturday and get in my car and drive down the shore through Jersey on the "deer paths" -- the roads that went through the woods and were smooth and had little traffic. Those road were so nice that I got three speeding tickets and had to go to a class so my license wouldn't be suspended. Ask your aunt about Wildwood.
Aunt, tell us about Wildwood.
On Friday mornings I'd get on the El with my suitcase, work all day, and then get the bus from Philadelphia to Wildwood. We stayed in Mrs. Wagner's Rooming House. $2-3 dollars a night. Girls only. In a dormer room at the top of the house. Two double beds and four girls and a bathroom in the hallway. I wasn't old enough to drink so I altered the date on my baptismal certificate from a 7 to a 5. I didn't drive so I didn't have a license to use as ID. That baptismal certificate got me into all the bars. If we had a little more money we'd stay in a hotel next to the Bolero club. During the day you could hear the stars, like Tony Bennet, rehearsing for their nighttime shows -- the sound came through the walls.
Now that's a Wildwood that lives up to its name.
They hatched their plan by the ocean's edge.
After much discussion they came to the same conclusion: the best of intentions don't always result in action. But if they did it ... together ... perhaps they could conquer their inertia. Could burst out of the torpor they both felt.
I'm in, he said.
Amen, She said.