My neighbor’s 12-year-old son made me a sandcastle menorah for Christmas. Apparently, there is a way of baking the sand in the oven with baking soda that turns it into clay. He had it all decorated with shells. It sounds funny, I know, but we lit the whole thing and with candlelight glowing on the sand it was really quite beautiful.
I can see the menorah candles burning down as I sit on the patio in a tank top and shorts, spread out on two deck chairs munching on maple bacon and drinking Green Machine. Breakfast part deux. On the patio side the other neighbor’s child has obviously received a Billy Joel songbook of sheet music. An accomplished pianist, she is ripping through the highlights of the Turnstiles album, a personal favorite, such as Summer Highland Falls and Miami 2017. The kid is really GOOD!
Moreover it gives me a cozy feeling. These days when I say “I’m going home for the holidays” I mean my uncle’s place on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. He’s a concert pianist. By the time a jet-lagged Southern Californian wakes up in New York it’s damn near noon and my uncle has started practicing. He usually warms up with jazz standards and oldies from the fifties before launching into Franz Liszt. Closing my eyes I soak in the warmth of the sun and the melodic sound of live ivory. The clear winter sunlight is glinting off the blue water of the marsh and the dense eucalyptus and pines on Torrey Pines Hill look soft as green velvet.
Ahhh contentment. Peace. Is this not what Christmas Day is about? To be at peace with all and HAPPY with what simple pleasures are provided?
Life is GOOD today and I am LUCKY.
My cousins are playing tennis together in Brooklyn, it seems for now the sun is shining there too. Another friend informed me he had already ridden his bike a hundred miles today – in 4 hours! Stud. I know I should get out there too. It’s criminal to waste this gorgeous day while my north-eastern brethren and sistren are shivering and riding trainers in their garages to stay in shape…
But, Dayanu! – ‘It is enough’ what I have right now.
‘Thank you for sending the beautiful blue pigments. I cannot pay you because the Pope has not paid me. I am penniless, therefore I cannot be robbed.”
-Michelangelo, from a letter to his brother Buonarroto.
Ok. I’ll go for a walk to the beach.
There, Tim. I bloggeth therefore I am (self absorbed. tee hee hee).