This morning, beside the wind-swept sea, I noticed a strong, yeasty smell. Was someone setting out their bread dough to rise? Brewing beer?
I thought about various horror movies and thought about what the sea might be gestating. I wondered if I was just smelling the salty air in an unusually intense way because of the wind.
I thought about today's Republican primary in Florida and wondered about yeast as a metaphor.
Will all eyes be on Florida today? Does the wider nation care about Republican primaries?
If you're tuned in, you'll probably hear a lot about the state, and you'll wonder how one state can contain such multitudes. It is a huge state--it takes 10 hours to go from north to south, and 8 or so hours to go from east to west if you go west from Jacksonville. At the northern parts of the state, it resembles the deep South, but with more expensive insurance rates. At the southern, pre-Keys part of the state, it resembles much of the Caribbean or Latin America. We've got more old people than much of the U.S., but oddly, we also have a lot of the youth that will be the face of tomorrow's U.S.: think Hispanic, think immigrant, think mixed in ways our grandparents never could have foreseen. This state has huge concentrations of wealth which are almost impossible to imagine. It also has deep poverty of various sorts: inner city, rural, suburban.
It's a state I both love and yearn to leave. Yesterday was one of those yearning to leave days. I was having one of those work days when I looked at an flier tacked to a bulletin board, and I said, "Bassist wanted for a punk band, eh? Wonder if I'd qualify?"
Of course not. I don't play bass. I'm a bit old to join a punk band that advertises its needs on a college bulletin board.
Instead, I went to the library, always one of my favorite places to hide. I read the latest Rolling Stone and took some comfort from realizing that even David Bowie wanted to escape his life when he was most successful and when he was spiralling downward. I took comfort from being surrounded by print sources of all kinds.
I both admire and abhor the political candidates and their certainty that they are exactly what the nation needs. How would that feel? I admire superstars like David Bowie who can say, "Whoa, my art and my life are off the rails here, and I'm in danger." I'm in awe of anyone who can realize the danger and figure out a resurrection strategy.
Resurrection strategies: now there's a good meditation prompt, a good writing prompt. Enjoy, as you stand in line to vote, as you watch the returns trickle back, as you face yeasty futures of various kinds.
A Weekend at Chautauqua
3 weeks ago