On the island

— There is only one four-way intersection on the island. No stoplights. The intersection is referred to one and all as “The Four Corners.” “Excuse me, can you tell me where the bank is?” “The Four Corners.” “Got it.”

— I spent the morning wandering around the Southeast Lighthouse, which is so beautiful and so intense I almost felt like I was mainlining some awesome drug of choice. This is the lighthouse that was moved, about a decade ago, because the cliffs were crumbling beneath it. It is a huge beautiful brick structure, with the glimmering mirrored lighthouse tower fat and squat. There was nobody about this morning, a sunny crisp morning, and the ocean was blindingly bright, streatching off in all directions. What can I say. I’m from the Ocean State. It is the landscape of my dreams, my comfort, where I want to always be. It’s an old lighthouse, a national landmark, and I had a really good private time there this morning.

— I am reading Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., by Ron Chernow (whom I will love forever for his Alexander Hamilton book) – Titan is his book on John D. Rockefeller, and, as always, Chernow’s writing is elegant, evocative, and highly intelligent. John D. Rockefeller is emerging before my eyes. He hasn’t even gotten into the oil business yet. He’s just a young man. It’s a huge book, daunting really, but I am very glad I have started it. I am learning a lot – not just about him, but of the economy at that time.

— I have been writing in a journal again. It makes me feel a bit silly, like a lovesick schoolkid, but it has been good for me. It’s certainly exercising the writing muscles again. Which, I suppose if you read my blog may seem ridiculous – she needs to exercise? But I do, I really do. Writing down long passionate entries about my “feelings” have been pretty much forbidden for the last 3 or 4 years. Nothing much to write about. But I am forcing myself to, and I can feel ideas for other things start to bubble up.

— I am now pretty much in love with Loretta Young, in her pre-Code movies. It was her birthday yesterday, I believe, and TCM had a marathon. I am not as wacky about later Loretta Young, although she is always lovely and natural – but her early 1930s stuff cannot be beat. Wow.

— Also reading a book of interviews with Roman Polanski (what a mind), and also the letters of Maud Gonne and WB Yeats. Dear Maud, you are a WACKO, but I love you anyway.

— Trying to read again. Creating the mental space for it again, despite how ragged everything has felt over the last year – a sort of scattering of my focus.

— My little house is so cute. There’s even a roll-top desk. And a front porch. I love my room too. I am sleeping like the DEAD. Going to bed early, waking up early.

— I arrived out here in the middle of the big storm we just had. The ferry ride was rough (although I am sure it could have been rougher) – the boat climbing up the waves, then climbing down into the holes left by the waves, the spray flying over the bow. It was awesome and beautiful. That ferry boat. My, she is yar.

— Walking on the beach.

— Walking around a frozen pond at sunset, watching the big dunes waving in the freezing night wind off to the north.

— I am going to go to the Southeast Light every day. I’ll never get enough of that spot.

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9 Responses to On the island

  1. Patrick W says:

    Hey, where’s the like button?

    Nice sunsets and sunrises over the last few days. Must be awesome at the lighthouse. Glad to hear that you’re having a good time.

  2. CazKurt says:

    Wow. I’m jealous, that sounds unbelievable beautiful. Rest, recuperate, re-energize. I am so thrilled to hear you’re journalling again! Mentally cheer-leading you from Ireland. Here’s to 2010.

  3. Catherine says:

    Whoops, ‘CazKurt’ is me, got momentarily confused to what I was signing into there.

    Oh, don’t know if you’re aware, but we’ve been experiencing the worst weather we’ve had in twenty years here in Ireland. Snow, sub-zero temperatures, sleet, thunder. The country is on lockdown – we’ve run out of grit for the roads, the airport has closed, most public transport has been halted. I say worst, and it really is a pain for those with urgent plane trips to make or whatever, but I’m in love with it. Grafton St. is beautiful. Everything is so quiet and crisp and white. When you step out of the house, there are these tiny crystals of ice in the air – like someone is shaking a tube of glitter down onto the world. Gorgeous, and it’s really putting me in a great mental space. The snow is general all over Ireland.

  4. kate says:

    When my Mom lived in LA in the late fifties/early sixties she had some young starlet friends (they came up with Jill St. John’s name) and at lunch at Brown Derby they all were discussing how one of them felt about the big deal made about the recent birth of “Clark Gable’s only child.” My Mom wondered why she would care. Evidently, she was his love child with Loretta Young – who disappeared for a year and came back with “adopted” daughter.

  5. De says:

    Well thank God we don’t have to live without you the entire month of January. I was dreading the new year!

    Speaking of Loretta Young…I was watching an episode of the Loretta Young show and she was playing a nun.
    I remember my mom telling me about how she would come out at the beginning of the show and twirl around with a big fancy dress.
    So, when I saw her playing a nun, I thought the whole fancy dress thing was strange and inappropriate.
    That’s when I realized the show was a collection of short dramas, not a show about a nun that started out with a fancy ball gown!

  6. jean says:

    This post makes me so happy I just don’t even know what to say…

  7. Ken says:

    Your descriptions are amazing, and I envy you (in a good way) the roll-top desk.

  8. tracey says:

    Sounds just perfect, Sheila. I’m so happy for you!

  9. Jen W. says:

    I was worried that you weren’t going to post while you were away! So glad to see this and to hear that you’re reading more too. What a great experience for you to have with this “writing sabbatical,” and what it may produce. Hope you have a wonderful time.

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