Got the keys yesterday and spent a few quiet hours thinking and settling in the new space. I am so wishing that Aimua and I were sharing this experience together and I’m feeling guilty that he is left finishing up the details in New York. I hope I will get things in order before he arrives so that he is repaid for all his hard work and dedication to finish school while I am here—also busy, but more engaged with the future than he can be at this moment
I haven’t taken a photo of one of these spectacular sunsets from our home in Harlem in a long time. Maybe that’s a sign that I need a new adventure. My flight—one way—to Gatwick leaves in 52 hours. Our view and the sinking sun are westward, but my future lies eastward. The rooms here are empty—furniture, clothes, dishes, pots and pans, books packed and on their way to Summer Hill Oast. I will get there first and the sparse life will continue there. Eating off plastic, sleeping on a mattress, but hearing birds and sheep and quiet instead of motorcycles doing wheelies down Fifth Avenue, revving from the bend around Marcus Garvey park and sirens making it impossible to speak on the phone with the windows open.
Of course, our first mobile phone carrier at the oast had no service at all, so we had to swap out our SIM cards and learn another set of phone numbers in the space of 24 hours. I still don’t really know it by heart.
It will be difficult keeping myself out of the garden now that spring is here—earlier in Kent than New York—but there is cleaning to be done and settling into a new country and different ways. Planting will have to wait.
We face south—great for a garden—but with the open skies there will be sunsets to capture and compare to this last orange Harlem sky.
Maybe the last view of 30 Lakeview Terrace for a while—home for 15 years, mother and father’s house to go home to for 20 years and then the Saturday-place for another 20 past father’s death.
The red door, the grey paint, daffodils planted 30 years ago still rising up, maybe too soon, maybe before the cold weather is safely gone. Daffodils taking a chance on a receptive climate and sun stronger than cold winds.
Heading off to my own receptive climate now—Kent England and Summer Hill.
Watch here for the adventure. Look it up on Google Maps: TN27 8ER. More to come.
I was introduced to the music of Alice Coltrane, wife of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane via this wonderful review in the @NewYorker. As the reviewer Hilton Als mentions, the track, Om Shanti, is amazing. If you have Apple Music you listen to the whole album. “World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda”
Something happens to the locals in a summer resort as the summer ends. A new summer friend called it August-itis but the fever peak is clearly Labor Day weekend. I can remember the deli counter lady at the East Hampton Stop & Shop years ago openly invoking the later days of September when “they are all gone home”!
It takes nerves of steel to traverse the length of Provincetown’s quaint Commercial Street at the height of a Labor Day weekend Saturday. The ferry has arrived, ‘another hundred people’ wheel down the asphalt with luggage, sun hats and baby strollers. A wedding party in pedicabs dragging just-married tin cans parades past Town Hall to applause and shoppers step out without looking for cars, trucks or bicycles. A townie yells to her friend dashing away from MacMillan Pier, “I’m done for the day. I can’t wait to get home and shut the door!”
But perhaps the most telling sign of August-itis seen was the local honking her car horn, yelling expletives at the bicyclers, cars and a couple with a baby stroller–all moving too slowly for her. Of course she could have easily driven parallel on Bradford Street to avoid the ‘renters’ and other non-locals; the very people who give Provincetown its primary source of income and tax revenues.
“Get the fuck out of the way! This is a road!” It must be a disease: prominent among her righteous assortment of bumper stickers was: