Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Civilization

Back in Maine after two weeks away, one in Massachusetts getting civilized again and one in Ohio visiting my mother, although the activities in Euclid included more civilizing culture in a week than I normally get in twenty: a trip to Holden Arboretum, 3,500 (!) acres of preserved woodlands and fields and a lovely crabapple orchard, among other delights (like full-blown lilac bushes even bigger than Maine's monsters); a visit to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, where in the Madagascar Desert installation we spent a tense and satisfying 20 minutes watching a large turtle right itself from an inversion caused undoubtedly by its baleful companion (the way it righted itself was by digging out a pit from the sand underneath itself and then falling into it); and a lovely Sunday afternoon concert by the Cleveland Orchestra, courtesy of my sister-in-law (who markets for the orchestra). Several games of Scrabble continued the taming of the shaggy Maine beast, and the difficulty of connecting to the Internet in my mother's condo-ized building - she will have nothing to do with computers, reducing me to catching brief rides on weak, unsecured signals from kindly neighboring wireless networks named Belkin_G, Motorola, and dlink - added to the general uplifting of character.

But to be back in Maine on a perfect May day makes me want to celebrate shagginess. Mowing the lawn, pulling dandelions, sweeping out the garage - all those mundane tasks are so much more pleasant here, and they involve old clothes and sweat. I wouldn't be welcome in Severance Hall today. I'm even taking easy reconnection to the world of email and webpages in stride, and not let it ruin my day.

Happy Cinqo de Mayo, and may the uncivil lawsuits in civilized Arizona carry on to success.

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