On Sundays and holidays

We spent the aftermath of Christmas on Whidbey island, a town called Langley, so idyllic they still have phone booths with free local calls, wild bunnies, signs in the shop windows promoting inclusion, views of the water, a bell to ring if you see a whale, a sign when you enter town that says WHALECOME. Wood cutouts of crows with candy cane scarves, one knocked over by the wind.

And for three days it was mostly wind and rain, as you’d expect. The wind played the pan flute on our chimney, the kids slept in, and all we had was time.

So content in our rented space, where everything’s clean and none of it’s ours. Heading down to the small beach, the wind kicking up, the windsocks 45 degrees, along a muddy path where a hippy’s doing tai chi—over the water in the clouds, I watched the sea gulls circle like kites without strings, on the currents they swirled…and I lost myself for a time.

I ate four raw oysters at the oyster bar, drank a pale ale, and then sent text messages bragging about it. Then I walked down to the water in the rain and stood in my new parka watching for whales, fooled by the look of the waves and the water fowl into thinking I’d seen one, imagining what it would be like to meet my family for lunch, their smiling faces. And I wanted so badly to be the poet I imagined I could be, but knew it would be hard with no pay…but how tempting the thought, drawn down to the end, to remake myself.

Categories: identity, Memoir, prose, writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. “…rented space, where everything’s clean and none of it’s ours.” That’s one of the great things about getting away from home, isn’t it? Sounds like you had a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. it sounds like you were truly happy in the moment

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To borrow a way of looking at that last line from the Eastern traditions, you are the poet you imagine you could be, it’s just a matter of removing false identifications to the contrary.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like that Walt, thank you. Was just out to the lake with my buddy Brad who gave me that copy of The Snow Leopard you now own. Something Eastern in that pr’haps. Big new year celebration for you, with all your life changes…kiss it goodbye and kiss the new one! So to speak.


  4. A nice cleanly-written piece. I like the wind in the chimney reference. The windows in my apartment here make strange whistling sounds every windy night, pan flute played by an idiot. The island sounds great, hope 2019 is a good year for you, regenerative, satisfying, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Robert and happy new year! I hope you are settling in nicely to your new living quarters and life is good. Here’s to a regenerative new year for you too, my friend. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your writing IS poetry, so you must indeed be a poet Bill. Langley sounds idyllic. We all need places like that to renew ourselves and just enjoy being alive. Happy New Year young man.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey. Didn’t make it to midnight at our friends’ house but hanging out in bed with wife as the year comes to a close. Wishing you and your family the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Only four? How do you stop at four? Can you teach me? Happy New Year, you old rattlesnake. All the best in 2019. Nice round number coming up next year.


    • Ha, funny…four oysters is all…I was doing that before lunch. It was hard to stop though, and I considered two more for the symmetry of ‘six.’ All the best to you too Mark, nice round number…for me I have one in 2020. “Live alone in a paradise that means that much to you.”


  8. Really like this one. A prose poem. Love the sense of solitude and connection (texts, family image, town signs). Love Walt’s comment about “false identifications” too. Kind of like Sean Connery in “Never say never again” eliminating all free radicals. Or so I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, that’s nice Bruce…thank you. Funny that Connery reference. Been a million years since I saw that movie. Thanks for reading and happy you enjoyed it. I send this stuff off and then forget altogether what I did, kind of nice in a way 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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