"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sands Souci

The quality of the posts at Reform Club today has been striking. And perusing the debate between Shaw and Chesterton, thoughtfully provided for our delight by the always stimulating Mr. Van Dyke, has been thoroughly absorbing.

With all this cream cropping up, my own humble offering looks positively wan. But I know you'll read it anyway to "be there for me"; that's what, as Elton John and Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight remind us, friends are fo-o-o-or.

I was going for a sort of interesting effect, combining a few elements: writing about lying on the beach in February, initially teasing the freezing Midwesterners and Northeasterners, then dancing along the fault line between the peace of escape and the lurking fear that there is no escape; personalizing the experience in a way that invites folks to join me on that beach and share a sort of vision, all the while getting distracted from my theme by the foreground and background effects. Very postmodern literary stuff, but even if you're not into the inside-baseball theory you should be able to kick back and see if the effect comes through.

Here is a glimmer:

It's February 8, 2006, one o'clock in the afternoon and I am lying on a beach in Miami. Afflatus had been bypassing my desk for a while, so I decided that perhaps Mother Nature was beckoning. Here I am beside God's glorious ocean, nary a man or woman within eyeshot of my secluded spot. Turquoise water flows toward me from a seam in the sapphire sky. A pair of gulls eye me warily as I wiggle my toes in the toasty sand. A sweet breeze -- it is winter, you know -- wafts tingling across my chest. And a gallery of seashell art glistens in wavy mounds of sand to mark the place where Paradise merges into Main Street. My scanty accoutrements of civilization: a pen, a sheet of foolscap and a copy of The American Spectator.

How's that for cutting a path through the pathos to take a bath in the bathos?

2 comments:

James Elliott said...

Can I just say that today's title pun was your best yet?

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

A fine piece of writing.