Today, especially, I miss my old neighbors. Every St. Patrick’s Day the mostly Scandinavian-surnamed lot of them would “drop in” after work, sure of their Irish coffee and soda bread, to argue the important question: were the Irish here before the Vikings?
They were to bring new evidence, which sometimes had something to do with the question, and prepare for the “spirited” argument the Irish call conversation. With Tim Severin’s The Brendan Voyage and Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s Last Rituals, I consider the Irish reaching Iceland first settled, but their reaching points further south (even to Cape Cod?) iffier. My old neighbors may differ, but it’s hard to know how a CD of U2 at full volume or a reading of too many verses of a Yeats poem makes their point. The priest acquaintance who suggested checking the Vatican tax records from the time was spot on. What fun.
And now, as I read Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From, I know what I was doing, always a good thing. I was cultivating the “slow hunch” within a “liquid network“ of idea connectors and critics, both necessary characteristics of a good idea – which having the Irish on these shores before the Vikings clearly is. I love this book, and I am only on the third of, I think, seven factors.
With March temps in the 50’s promising spring but not soon enough, news of Tenants Harbor — well greater TH — is ever more welcome, as a Roseledge Books Founding Spirit understood when he forwarded this link.
Also local and noteworthy, the Herring Gut Learning Center newsletter (Herring Gut Learning Center’s News) is looking for suggested names, even as it announces and reports on new programs. Ann Boover’s work makes me think a Maine or even a coastal Maine equivalent of Leanne Shapton’s The Native Trees of Canada could be coming. Or maybe a local birds-with-drawings effort? The drawing of the flora in situ in Diane Smith’s Letters from Yellowstone is another possible book model and a good read no matter what. Okay I’m a little lonesome for the gulls, et al.. I’m still working on book suggestions linked somehow to gardens for the proposed Herring Gut gardeners. How about the herbalist’s garden in Sarah Orne Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs? Scott thinks he knows where it was. Other suggestions? And no, I am not sending in “Pickled” as a possible newsletter title, though it did come to mind.
I continue to experiment with knittings for porch events and varied temperatures. Roseledge Book Regulars may recall last year’s big woolly, the super sized, soft sweater with detached collar, warm enough for people with no neck to enjoy late fall’s last late nights. Now I am working on a shoulders only “drop-on”, a not-scratchy, lightweight biggish collar, able to be dropped into place without getting up from my chair. So far, this third iteration looks good: not too big or loosely stitched (first try) and better pinned than knitted closed (second try). Time to see if the patio here will serve as a test location. I have found the perfect wine, surely named Kenwood for my new digs, and the chairs are in place.
David Baldacci’s latest paperback, Deliver Us From Evil, is keeping me company, but nothing beats seeing you all.