A friend of mine is visiting Boston this week, so I told her -- "Get out to Halibut Point if you have the chance."
You drive north from Boston, past Marblehead and Salem, out to the Cape Ann peninsula and the Gloucester harbor full of fishing boats.
You keep going until you get to Rockport, an impossibly cute tourist town, although it's not anyone's fault. People come from all over to buy saltwater taffy and t-shirts, so a man would be a fool not to sell them.
In New England, nobody moves over to make room for tourists, and they charge them plenty just to park their cars. People come anyway.
But don't stop in Rockport, take the small road up the coast about four or five miles. It's a pretty drive. You get to Halibut Point State Park, and then it's a short hike out to the point.
Pure granite. Everything on Cape Ann is made of pure granite with a little bit of soil between the cracks to nourish a few pine trees.
Walk out to the tip of Halibut Point where the waves crash and heave against the granite boulders.
Then look out to sea. Look for the Blue Lady. She floats above the waves and she's very beautiful. You might hear her say something, but it won't be words.
If you go out there you might see the Blue Lady. I saw her once.
Regrets and Resentment. Now it's time for Frog Hospital's annual "Regrets and Resentment" issue.
It has become quite fashionable to disparage these essential human qualities, to say, as if it were definitive, that "I have no regrets." Or to blithely dismiss every insult and injury, and say, "I have no resentment."
These people are lying, or else devoid of consciousness. Regret is part of a meaningful life. The things I have done -- my God, my whole life is an embarrassment. I have only to pick a year, and like an apparition, comes a parade of far from harmless misdeeds.
I do not forget these errors. I regret them.
Regrets are for the stupid things I have done, which hurt myself and others.
Resentment is for what other people have done to me. How can we forgive if we do not first savor and store up the grievance?
There is a lifespan to an injury. People do hurt us, through carelessness and through intent. These are real wounds.
And, does a real wound heal instantly, miraculously? No, it hurts and it bleeds, and it begins raw and painful, and transforms, over time, into a deeper ache.
Real forgiveness only comes in time, after resentment has served its purpose. That's the healing that ennobles us.
Soulful Songs from the Sixties. First a 1966 live recording of Lou Rawls singing "The Shadow of Your Smile."
Then the incomparable Sarah Vaughan sings "I Can't Give You Anything but Love."
It's so smooth.
Speaking of Smooth. I liked President Smooth when he came back from Copenhagen without gaining the Olympics Games for Chicago. I really don't think our President believes his own charm, not with a wife like Michelle. He came back from Copenhagen empty-handed, as if to say, "I tried, but only because you asked me. I can't waltz the scales off a snake. I can't turn the devil into sponge cake. And you shouldn't expect anything like that."
I liked Obama defeated. This nonsense with the Nobel Peace Prize has a lot to do with the silly expectations of five Norwegians, and very little to do with Obama.
He's the President. He has real work to do, and I hope he does it well.
Illness. We should all spend the whole day in bed once in a while and not wait for illness to force this resting state upon us. A sweating episode of outdoor labor followed by a sudden chill put me out of business for a few days, down with the flu, confined to the house, huddled under blankets, forced to read long books and look out the window for hours..... I'm glad it's over.
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