I returned home late last night from a week in a cottage in an obscure corner of Maine. There, above, is where I spent much of my time, out by the water under a tree inhabited by two ravens. Occasionally, a lobsterman would come by, empty his traps, and putter up the coast.
And what did I do? Pretty much nothing. I cleansed myself of electronica. When I was in the car, I left the radio off. I didn't even read newspapers.
I got a lot of reading done. And I only wrote one short essay in all the time I was there.
Mostly, when we travel, Marianne and I travel full-tilt boogie hard and fast: Up the mountains, into the caves, and a hundred miles down the road by noon. But every year I like to take a week off and bring myself to a full stop. On the first day, I'm so wired from a year of literary activity that I'm almost quivering. Slowly, I recover myself. And by the final day I no longer want to write.
That's when I know I can come home.
Today, I've done nothing at all, other than typing out and reworking the essay. In an hour, I leave for a literary dinner party in New York City. And tomorrow, rested and recharged, I'll resume my usual work schedule.
So I am content and so too, I hope, are you.