Sunday, December 16, 2018

Why bother?


There are some for whom evangelism of any measure or purpose is an utter affliction, this in spite of the strength or universality of the intended communication. The bible - notwithstanding its poetic use of metaphor - seldom fails to makes its point. This does not however imply that the cloak of design is entirely without uncertainty.  Take for example the expression from Matthew 7:6.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
lest they trample them under their feet,
and turn again and rend you.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Key West Express


On Monday morning at 7:00 am on December 10th, 2018 we boarded the Key West Express (a sea-going catamaran) in the harbour of Fort Myers Beach and headed for Key West, Florida. It is marketed as a 3½ hour journey across the Gulf of Mexico. We were in for a nautical awakening. There is very little of man's creation which competes with the vastness and power of the sea.  Our education was about to begin.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Idle Reflection


I am a shameful creature of habit (a classic bore I am sure made all the more offensive by my wackadoo commitment to its endless reiteration).  Mid-afternoon each day - following my morning routine of restorative ablutions, a predominantly protein breakfast (ham, eggs and American cheese), strong black coffee and bicycling - I collapse on a chaise longue by the pool and allow my mind to reflect idly upon what I've contemplated throughout the prior three hours, always stimulated by the burnishing rays, dry heat and changing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a summary exercise which frankly seldom succeeds to do anything more than repeat tiresomely what I have thought time and again. I nonetheless persist in what I choose to fashion an investigative analysis with possible improving consequences (also highly unlikely).

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Preparing to leave


After getting my hair cut by (big) Michael at The David Gregory Salon sharply at nine o'clock this morning I hurried home to change into my togs for bicycling. By local accounts it was a frosty day - only about 55℉ - so I put on my fleece shell and black woollen socks - only to remove them both an hour later when I reached Bradenton Beach at the southern end of Anna Maria Island.  By then the sun was uncomfortably warm on my back. The sky was crystal blue.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Visit to the Dentist


Relocating residence for six months entails somewhat more than transporting the common baggage. While you certainly needn't bring every wristwatch or other article of jewellery with you (though I confess to having brought studs and links) nor obviously any of one's favourite rugs, lamps, crystal or furnishings, there are nonetheless other matters to be taken care of - things like hair cuts, manicures and pedicures, oil changes for the car, bike rentals, clothing and shoe stores and dental hygiene.  Hopefully one needn't become too familiar with the Emergency department of the local hospital. Nor have to acquaint oneself with the preferred ambulance, trauma or collision centre. The point is that many of life's prosaic needs continue to persist wherever you are. Today for example we visited a dentist because (speaking for myself anyway) my addiction to strong, black coffee is as usual discolouring my teeth from an acceptable ivory to that approaching mahogany.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Murky Day


We're caught in a fog. Behind the soupy map the yellow orb blazes. I count the hours awaiting the evidence of change, the details of compliance.  I have no patience. But I have done all that is possible to complete the transactions (perhaps even more than I should have done). For now my preoccupation is in abeyance. I won't pretend to disregard what is anticipated! But for the moment at least I shall put down the trowel.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Nec Plus Ultra


Some things bear repeating. A morning coffee for example. And in my particular case, a bicycle ride. There is only so much novelty in any existence - barring perhaps the Crusades or some such extraordinary undertaking. It is quite proper - and indeed desirable - in my opinion to dwell upon the minutiae of everyday life, a posture which pointedly can only be achieved by the imposition of focus and habit. Appreciating the layers of experience demands the serenity of knowledge which accumulates with assiduity. It is wearing to become anxious about recurrence but this misses the delicacy of detail. Granted it helps being bound by a circle of perfection.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Saturday, December 1st


It is Saturday, the 1st day of December.  Though the temperature is 76℉ and there is a wind of 20 mph out of the south, I have turned off the air conditioner and opened the apartment balcony door and my bedroom window to delight in the refreshing late afternoon breeze. Autumn has incontestably ended. A sudden serenity marks the hibernation of the next six weeks before the season begins. Even the falling leaves on the bike path this morning were forlorn and withered. The dulled walkway wound lonesomely, its visage alternately changing beneath the grey sky or the dappled sunshine. The day is a sandwich of events blending into one sensible impression highlighted today by the rollicking mixture of sun and clouds, high wind and thrashing waves on the beach, and the violent tumult of the beating heads of palm trees. The dry relieving air hints of a turbulence on the horizon. It is only 5 o'clock but already the shadows upon the tiled rooftops are long. A narrow shard of light crosses the crowns of the giant ferns in the distance. Winter is coming.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Buyer Beware


Over the space of the last 70 years (my entire life) I have owned 25-acres of vacant rural land, a small residential house in an old part of Town, a large residential house in a new part of Town, a condominium and parking space in a trendy urban centre and a heritage building with four units (two residential, two commercial). Though I've owned more real estate and had more headaches for doing so than most people I know, I am seldom if ever asked my opinion on the subject. If I were asked, my unadulterated thesis is this: rent; don't buy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sunny and Cool


The real Floridians wore coats this morning.  Parkas! The weather today was sunny and cool. It's currently 57℉ which is about 40° lower than it was a month ago! When I went for my morning cycle I had on a light hoodie over my Polo shirt, all topped by a Patagonia Synchilla® fleece pullover. I also wore some very comfortable Wigwam woollen socks. I didn't feel in the least overdressed.  In fact when I passed a determined (pale) jogger wearing only a T-shirt and shorts I felt decidedly Floridian by comparison. I speculated that he had only recently landed on the island, intent upon milking the experience for what he had likely anticipated to be a warmer menu. For my part it was an agreeable state. The sun still burnished my face despite the cool northern air.