Four mile trip from Port Ellen to Ardbeg distillery. We’re walking from our cottage northwest of the town, so add another half mile. We start in pastureland bordered by conifer plantations. Sheep graze outside the window in the morning, and further on cattle graze and gaze. Smell of pine resin, manure and sea salt as … Continue reading Walking To Ardbeg With The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Words From A Whirlpool, Scattered Cows And Sheep, And Egill Skallagrímsson’s Drinking Toast.
Water, grass, thistle and stones. Rocks. Arriving on Islay means close quarters with quartzite, limestone, slate and shale with many cresting intrusions called sills of metamorphic rock abundant through the southeastern part the island known as Kildalton. As Andrew Jefford writes (and I’ll return to his wonderful prose often from Peat Smoke And Spirit) . … Continue reading A Drinking Man Arrives On Islay, Has A Pour Of Lagavulin, Watches Sea and Stone, Looks At A Thistle And Listens To Robert Fripp’s “Abandonment To Divine Providence.”
Morning. Sleep with scattered images of pigs running through flooded woodlands on the end of a vast sea reclaiming what always belonged to it and it alone. Woke up and walked out before coffee to see what the sky had brought us. Water on all sides, but a slight rise of earth and grass has … Continue reading Remembering Harvey / Chapter Three / One Hundred Years Of The Same Morning.
Storm coming. Storms having come. We made the decision not to leave the house, not to pull out on the highway in my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier loaded with ourselves and the cats. I strapped myself to the iron fence like Ahab lashed to the great whale. Catastrophe in the air. What would the night bring? … Continue reading Remembering Harvey / Chapter Two / Pulled Pork And Gin.
Recently gave a talk about Houston to a group in Stockholm featuring the build-up to and experience of Hurricane Harvey. Returning to almost two years ago and stitching together what happened between the evening of Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 offered a view of what in means to hail from H-Town. Begin the … Continue reading Remembering Harvey / Chapter One.
Blooming. They’re out. A glorious walk through the King’s Garden in Stockholm to view the Cherry Blossoms. From a a fifteenth century royal kitchen garden to an open space for military drilling in the nineteenth century to pavilions with cafés in the twenty-first century, the Kungsträdgården features Cherry Blossom trees blooming and signaling the beginning … Continue reading Cherry Blossoms At Kungsträdgården With Tulips, Blueberry Tarts, Cognac And Coffee And The Art Of Fugue.
After a meal, a walk helps aid digestion, at least, that’s what I’ve been told repeatingly, and as Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin writes, ‘Man lives not on what he eats, but on what he digests,’ says an old proverb. We must therefore digest to live: rich and poor, king and shepherd are equal in the face of … Continue reading A Walk After Goulash With Brillat-Savarin, Blackpink, Walt Whitman And Tomas Tranströmer.