How have you been faring during this period of social distancing? Are you a ‘producer’ or a ‘starer-into-space’? If only I could say I was writing a blue streak and learning all that German I intended on at the start of this new year that took a turn to the twilight zone. I spend more time gazing out the window and taking inventory of all the scuff marks and empty picture hook holes in the wall than I do anything else. When I’m capable of more than staring, my mind’s preference is to look back over what has been rather than look forward (probably a comfort thing). Today I spent some time flipping through a small Moleskine I carry with me when I hike. The last complete entry is dated 9/28/2019, observations during a sojourn at Clarke Lookout here in New London, NH where I live, and where I explored for the first time this past summer….

  • Mt Sunapee in the distance, Lake Sunapee below
  • so many boats on the lake with their white wake trails, vroooming
  • one cairn stands proud while another is only partially completed
  • What is that buzzing insect sound–you know the one–the one you hear on really hot days? It fills my ears now…
  • ants scurrying over the rocks I sit on
  • rustling leaves
  • cloudless sky, sun
  • a can of Pringles
  • 1 package of Biscoff biscuits covered in Belgian chocolate
  • 1 YETI tumblr of Earl Grey to pour into my kuksa….the first use of this wooden vessel!
  • A grasshopper visit
  • two islands in the distance…one largish and one small
  • buoys bobbing
  • a lighthouse on the rocks
  • pine trees….the kind with long, soft needles
  • oak leaves waving
  • people come and go…one couple sitting on the bench for about 15 minutes
  • the wind is blowing across the top of the water, the patterns of its reverberations
  • I passed an older couple on the way to the top who were walking a black lab on a leash
  • another young couple with a pug-ish looking dog unseats the first couple…they are disturbing the peace with their talk talk talk
  • in the woods off to the right there is a rustic hide out built of sticks and branches, it’s gathered into an “A” shape, the back like a lean-to
  • the sign says no fires here, but there is evidence of past burning…charred stick ends and charcoal nuggets

Maybe this list will become a poem. In certain places there is a lilt, bits of sound that catch and flow one into another, and that’s how a good poem sounds.

The following images come from two successive hikes to this magical spot…click on each image to view full size.

Looking over past scribbles and sifting through images is part of what’s keeping me going right now. Mostly I’m okay because I’m an introvert and naturally feel my best when I am able to go about my business without tons of people around. But even diehards like me need human interaction, and so this period of isolation is not all roses despite the early memes of “Introverts….THIS is what we’ve been training for all our lives!!!”

Music is another thing that works my heart and helps me to feel that eventually the world will physically come together again. It will most likely look and feel very different than what we remember, but I think that just might be a good thing. To start new. Be better. Do better.

The sun WILL rise……


  1. Thank you for this. Even before I looked at the wonderful photographs I felt as if I could picture that trip with just the notes you had made.
    I would love to read the poem when it’s done, I too got a sense of it from those somewhat staccato words.


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