notes from the edge of the river – II

These writings were from my solo vacation to a little red caboose cabin near Bandera, Texas this past week. A long weekend of relaxing, reflection and exploration.

I find that sitting out here in this quiet spot makes me want to write – you know, like with actual pen and paper! At home I always use the computer and I find manually writing to be tiresome. I just can’t go as fast as my brain wants to.

But here, the thought of turning on a computer almost repulses me. There is something calm and relaxing about moving the pen across paper. The brain moves slower as well – no longer trying to keep pace with the typical busy day. It’s relaxing and thinking evenly.

I thank God that I have the time, money and inclination for these excursions. There was a time with I had none of those things. It makes such a difference for my mental health.

The sunset is lovely. I’m looking forward to actually seeing stars tonight. I’m always amazed by the real night sky. The one hidden behind layers of city filth that is invisible to me. It’s that awesome expanse of stars and darkness that rekindles my thoughts of and thankfulness to God.


One thought on “notes from the edge of the river – II

  1. Ken says:

    I just finished reading “The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett. The setting is an imaginary town, Dunnet’s Landing, on the coast of Maine in the late 1800’s. One woman in the novel lives alone on an island, “Shell-Heap Island.” She told people that she had committed an unpardonable sin and that is why she must live her life alone on the island. Locals gossiped about what that sin might be, but the author was too much of an artist to reveal it. When this woman died, she was buried on the island. Although she lived her life as a hermit on the island, the path to her grave is well-worn because so many have come to visit her grave. A minister in the story visited the woman on Shell-Heap Island. He said the wrong things to her. Another woman who came with him later said something like, he uses many fine words but he has no remedies. The narrator in the novel is a woman who spent a summer in Dunnet’s Landing staying with another woman writing about the people she met and the stories they told. The novel has no plot, which confounds many readers. It is just a series of stories about the people who live in or near Dunnet’s Landing, an imaginary place on the coast of Maine.

    Now I am reading “The Outermost House” by Henry Beston, about the year he spent at his little house in the dunes next to the beach on Cape Cod in 1926/27. He went there planning to stay just a few days, like you at the Red Caboose. He stayed a year. He wrote about nature, rather than God, unless of course, they are the same. In the last chapter he wrote, “Poetry is as necessary to comprehension as science.” On the last page he encouraged his readers to “Hold your hands out over the earth as over a flame.” He wrote that the earth sustains us “with her own measureless tremor of dark life.” His book became famous. His little house, Fo’castle, was named a literary landmark. He died in 1968. His house, then owned by the Audubon Society, became a destination for many on pilgrimages. In 1978 a storm washed the little house off its foundations into the sea.

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