Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Business Meeting

We have a business meeting at ten o'clock this morning.  Coincidentally our correspondent shares with us a common ancestry. As I have elsewhere remarked there is a history of exchange between Canada and the United States of America within my own family beginning with the adventure of United Empire Loyalists from Boston to New Brunswick in 1776 and continuing until as recently as the emigration of my niece and her husband from Toronto to Hollywood, California in 2017.  During that period of 241 years other members of my immediate family have shifted back and forth between Canada and the United States of America so I am not certain on what side of the border the weight of the averages lies.

I consider that our hibernation here qualifies for inclusion among these ventures though clearly with far less texture than would otherwise accompany a complete and final relocation. Nonetheless there persists an undeniable awakening and intrigue which heightens our perception of the experience. While we don't for a minute pretend to insinuate local society to any appreciable degree we maintain a constant amusement in savouring the wafts of flavour within our limited purview. Not unlike any other interloper our curiosity is easily aroused by the most inconsequential feature of the vernacular, whether architectural, culinary, artistic or developmental. I dare say that in many instances our fascination exceeds even that of the native inhabitants who are conditioned by their economic, familial and residential routine to ignore what are sometimes the distinctive elements surrounding them. Such is the anaesthetizing effect of familiarity!

Traditionally I resist the temptation to get on my horse and ride off in all directions. My preferred method of discovery, as with almost any other form of analysis, is to drill into the detail. Luckily for me I am afforded the convenience of bicycling. This enables me to cover an arc wide enough to quench my thirst for local knowledge while at the same time appeasing my instinctive yearning for moderate exercise.  The conjunction of the two aspirations imposes its own limits.  It is within the scope of this admittedly narrow boundary that I construct the remainder of my dynamic here. I soften the suggestion of being overly restrictive by asserting that we wander further abroad several times throughout our winter sojourn.  But on balance we unearth the devil in the detail.

There are two overarching factors which predict my personal designs - the weather and the tides.  Because my dedication to daily exercise is undeterred by almost any excuse or interruption, a stormy day is usually a welcome opportunity to forgo my routine and settle instead for something more intellectual like reading or playing the piano (both of which I like very much but which always come second after my health concerns as well they should). The tides foretell not so much the commencement of my day as the path of its evolution - whether on the beach or along the sidewalk.  In either case it is pretty much settled even at this early juncturet that it will be one or the other, either southward or northward (though more likey southward because the area is far less urban). There are for example ample opportunities to wander inland throughout the maze of residential developments many of which are thorooughly charming and which border on the Halifax River which effectively isolates this barrier island called Daytona Beach Shores from the continent.  Yet I steadfastly cling to the beach or the coastal route (sidewalk) which is within site of the Atlantic Ocean - my source of energy if you will.  I make no bones about confessing the magical allure of the sea.  Everything about our escape here is dedicated to absorption of the salt sea air and all that that entails.

Preliminary to any excursion is my habit of ablutions and breakfast.  Because we sometimes dine late in the evening I am not always especially hungry in the morning though I insist on having at least a sliced orange and coffee if for no other reason than to put something in my system to off-set the clump of pills and painkillers I habitually consume. Eventually however I will indulge my passion for protein - usually ham, salmon, bacon or hamburger and cheese complemented by tomatoes, green pepper or cucumber.  Commensurate with my orange and coffee is a gander at my computer.  It is somewhat superfluous because I have my iPhone with me constantly and likely even before getting out of bed I have checked it for email.  But the computer is a touchstone so I insist on running through my normal sites, yet another testament to my unwitting obsessions.  It quells my spirit of inquiry and allows me the pleasure of sipping coffee while glancing at the blinding light of the rising sun reflected on the Ocean.

Last evening I chatted on the telephone with a dear friend in Canada. Though we are very different people from very different professional backgrounds - in addition to being ages apart (I'm the old fogey) and of different gender - we share an infinite understanding of one another.  If I were to be entirely modern about it perhaps I could advance that my friend and I are simpatico. Inevitably we find ourselves talking around the identical subject though viewed from our unique perspective - hers being primarily artistic, mine philosophic.  Where we united in last evening's dialogue was a conclusion about the assessment of personal capital and the impending necessity to abandon any hesitation to use it. Though as I say we are years apart (about 14 years) we both acknowledged that - like it or not - we've succeeded to an age where delay is an obstruction. In particular we've equally resolved that we now have in our arsenal of talents all that we're likely to acquire and that accordingly the time has come to employ them howsoever crude and unrefined we might otherwise be persuaded to imagine they are.  As I jokingly remarked last evening, Earnest Hemingway finally had to write!  What is especially apt about all this idle rumination is that my friend has on the horizon the prospect of an exhibition of her skills (including a myriad of other illustrations going to the very root of her existence and touching on the highly personal nature of her being). Lest that sounds hopelessly esoteric, I make no apology.  The time has come to shine and I have no doubt that the result will be achieved one way or the other.  This isn't a question of if or when or maybe; it's the fulfillment of a purpose, the unfolding of an expression which we both know has been years in the making and which is about to hatch from its erstwhile state of dormancy.  I flatter myself to align my own productions with this commendable undertaking in that I too have thrashed out my own convictions.


Early this afternoon following our business meeting and lunch on the pier I changed into my cycling togs and headed for the beach. The sky was a cloudless dome of blue and we're in a cycle of tides which befits mid-afternoon passage. With the wind at my back I sailed southward to Ponce Inlet.  It was however considerably more demanding upon my return.  In fact I ultimately detoured off the beach onto the sidewalk to shelter from the on-coming wind. It wasn't long after regaining the apartment that I succumbed to an afternoon nap.

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