Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Report, Hastily Rendered

I am typing quickly, before anything happens to take my focus away from the task at hand: blogging.

Or that is, completing a blog post.

And posting the damn thing.

You see, I have about 11 drafts for posts, composed over the past month. None were completed.

I am determined that this one will be.

So I am typing fast.

Forgive any typos that might occur.

The reason I have been unable to even finish a blog post is because this summer is freaking awesome.

Freaking. Awesome.

And busy. Insanely so until last week, possibly just as insane by tomorrow but for the past two days, there was time to breathe and most importantly, think.

I am not in Europe. I am not in the Hamptons. I am not anywhere near the Mediterranean. I am up at my beloved bungalow in the lower Catskills, have been here pretty much full time since the end of Little Babe's school one month ago, though we were spending weekends here since Memorial Day. I've been back and forth to our Manhattan apartment (the urban bungalow) and to meetings, parties, events and other happenings in the city, but am frankly trying to avoid doing so because of the shlep. And the weather. I've gotta go in tomorrow and already am strategizing how to stay cool, what to wear, how to avoid my hair frizzing up into a mushroom formation.

It is a hot, hot summer, in fact, I just took a shower break and am typing with wet hair, a fan blowing warm air on me. Did I say my hair was wet? It was. Briefly. It dried in under 2 minutes.

What makes this summer so freaking awesome? Being at the bungalow, of course, facing the woods while I work on my porch, waking up to greet the sweet new day right outside my window, walking Alfie and Nala the Pomeranians along a quiet country road, being in splendid isolation during work hours, getting crazy social the minute my work ends, returning to my porch at midnight to watch the moon high up in the sky, watching the shadows of my porch light dancing on the trees, stepping outside barefoot to feel the already dewy grass beneath my toes.

Our bungalow weekends are especially awesome. Shabbat is NIRVANA. Delicious dinners late on Friday morning on the porch of the bungalow, just the Bungalow Bunch. Walks early Saturday morning with HOBB along Gatehouse Road. Our havurah on Saturdays at noon when we gather to discuss Robert Alter's astonishing work, "The David Story," a guided reading of the David narrative in the biblical books Samuel l and ll. A pot luck lunch after the learning, including kiddush and hamotzi. A Scrabble game with HOBB, conversations with Little Babe and Middle Babe. Lazy afternoons at Walton Lake, a short walk for us through the woods. Nighttime movies, parties or comedy shows at the Rosmarins casino where classic Borscht Belt fare is served weekly. Sunday bike rides, visits to wineries, jam sessions with musician friends, drum lessons (for me!!!), books, newspapers, trashy magazines, visits from city folk, local culture, Shakespeare in the park, drive-in movies in Fair Oak, hours spent sweating at the local gym, fresh salads, ample sunshine, goblets of wine, blessings without end.

In absolute shock, I noted that I graduated from Columbia J School two months ago yesterday. It feels like a century has elapsed. It feels like it happened just last week. It feels like it happened to someone other than me. Seriously, who is that person who wrote an 11,000 word thesis and a 17,000 word book proposal, who read thousands of pages of articles and a dozen or so books, who hung out with people in their 20's, 30's and 40's over coffee, over wine, overnight??

Now, my days are full of writing assignments and consulting projects and I spent the month of June teaching ethical communications for clergy at a seminary in New York City. Thrillingly, I have been asked to return in the fall, when I will also begin a part time gig teaching spiritual autobiography to high school kids and managing a student paper.

By the fall, I'm also hoping to have completed work on two rather ambitious projects. More deets about these when the time comes.

And I have finally moved into the very place I wanted to be vis a vis my PR and marketing work, guiding one important work through its publication and advising on some other projects, all of which feed my soul, all of which put me in direct contact with great people.

There's my drumming, a brand new undertaking, just a month old. I'm already in love, amazed I never thought to do this sooner. The drum sticks feel natural in my hands. Playing percussion helps to make this summer freaking awesome. I had two lessons over the past two days and rented a rehearsal space this morning at a local music store where I banged away to my heart's delight to the songs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I did "Otherside," "Dosed," "Dani California," and "Californication." That's me in the picture on top, jamming with my bungalow friends on Sunday afternoon. That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight.

When I emerged from the studio earlier today, the store owner, Greg, told me I sounded good . I've been smiling ever since, imagining myself playing with the Peppers or as part of a girl group or even a Jewish wedding band. The presence of Little Babe, now 16 and a fabulous musician, helps to fuel my rocker dreams. In the city, we jam on Sunday mornings, me on keyboard, him on electric guitar or bass or cello. Little Babe is a junior counselor this summer at Rosmarins Day Camp. He's up at the bungalow with his good school buddy Gabe, known here as the Italian Stallion...which worries me just a tad. In the morning, before camp, Little Babe plugs in before he brushes his teeth and plays after camp, sometimes well past midnight. Recently, he reconnected with his summer-time childhood friend Chris over music, in fact, I came home from the gym last night to encounter an unrecognizable Chris sitting on our porch. Little Babe plays with my musician friends here on Sunday afternoons, more than holding his own. He's our homegrown superstar. Sharing a bungalow with him is awesomeness in itself.

Anyway, before I write one more word, I am going to press "Publish Post." I have to do this quickly because there is so much more I want to say, how my fitness club in the country has a room called the Cardio Theatre where they are showing "Pulp Fiction" today; how I am reading Orhan Pamuk's "Museum of Innocence," which I heard him read from two years ago at Humboldt University in Berlin. How I've done a couple of flash mob dances, how I'm planning a global musical flash mob event with a group of artist friends in the fall. How I've reconnected with dear old friends, how being 50 is pretty awesome in itself, a time to simply relax into oneself and then push oneself outside of one's comfort zone. It is also a time to step up one's humanitarianism, giving to people and causes who deserve it while pulling the plug on those who really don't.

Big thanks go to Middle Babe, my wise and beautiful daughter, for helping me articulate an understanding of this last point. It is rather profound, having to do with arriving at the realization that some of the people you considered friends don't actually care for you and no effort on your part will change that. Though this sounds depressing, it is actually liberating. Letting go of lousy friends enhances your sense of awesomeness.

There are so many more reasons why things are awesome but unless I post this now, the world won't know even some of them. Besides, the Cardio Theatre won't be playing "Pulp Fiction" all night.

1 comment:

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