This is pretty much it.
There’s such disparity between the seasons here in Maine, it’s like each is entirely divorced from the others. One day you’re walking between man-sized snowbanks on the sidewalk outside your house and then four months later you’re still sweating in shorts and a t-shirt at 11 o’clock at night.
Right now we’re enjoying a long slow fade of a fall. It’s been glorious, the blaze of color across the landscape lasted longer than I ever remember. The weather stayed warm, prolonging that precarious moment at the tipping point between winter and fall. The leaves clung to the trees, steadfast, almost seeming committed to prolonging our enjoyment of my favorite part of the year.
It’s all over now, though, for the most part. The oaks have gone the color of dry, yellow parchment, or crisp chicken skin on a plate of Sunday dinner, and they’re all we have left. The bareness ahead can be beautiful in its own way, the bare bones of trees matching the dark tones of the earth below their limbs, which blend out to the horizon beyond. The blaze orange comes next, as hunters set out to fill freezers, and into storage go shorts and sneakers. Soon we’ll be out on the sidewalk again, hustling along, backs bent and chests hunched against the penetrating cold.
On those days I’ll have to remember this picture; shot by my friend Nathan Gilliss, of my dog Reyes. It was a day so hot — the Fourth of July — that we could all actually enjoy the bone aching water of the bay. We stayed in all day, this guy maintaining a vigilante watch over an ever-increasing cache of sticks for fetching. As soon as he left the water, his not insubstantial tongue was out, and salt formed into white spiked crystals at the tip ends of his black coat.
It’ll be good to remember being that hot, if it’s possible in the dead of winter. That the two experiences, freezing and perspiring, play out in the same environment is a piece of cognitive dissonance that might just be irreconcilable.
I shot and edited this little video feature on my friend Katrine Hildebrandt-Hussey and her in-home art habit. It debuted last week on UpriseArt.com, a site that apparently sells quite a bit of her work.
Music by one of my favorite bands of the last five years (easily) — OTHER COLORS.
There are always things that you mean to do but don’t. Sometimes it’s the stupid little stuff: picking up paper towels at the grocery store, bringing your lunch to work or remembering to get your laundry out of the dryer.
But sometimes it’s the big things, the “life experience category” stuff that you know you should make happen for big reasons. When you live in an amazing place, the meant-tos and should-haves can pile up pretty deep.
Last week I made one happen though, finally. I’ve been meaning to take advantage of the ample supply of periwinkles and other snails on the nearby crooks and bends of Maine’s coastline for at least three years. Somehow, it just never happened.
Countless dinners with friends, a few pop-up suppers and more trips to the beach than I can even remember, and I still never did it. I’ve sweat over more than my fair share of stoves at this point, but never while ushering snails plucked from the rocks with my own hand into the after life (in my belly).
Well, I still haven’t actually done that, because this time around, when I went out to find these little morsels of meat tucked into their swirling bone homes, it was for a friend. “Snacking on mollusks, straight from the shell, is just a very Vietnamese thing to do…” he implored me in the lead up to the dinner he was preparing for 30 of our pals.
So out I went and crossed an item off the list: forage for snails a stones throw from my home on the ocean. Okay, a bit more than a stones throw, but it was on the way to the beach to check the surf. And I brought this guy, who you know loves to get wet. I’m not sure how he feels about mollusks.
Aka, Louis C.K. — on kids and smart phones.
Turn to the back of the current issue of the Surfer’s Journal to see a small, stream of consciousness piece by yours truly. Let me know if you get what it’s all about.
You can buy it here.
Here’s to the brilliant lampooning of movie sub genres.
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