I approached the periodicals display at the bookstore with the same anticipation I felt as a child when I went to the room Santa Claus had visited or when I now go to a window or door to see if the sound I heard was the arrival of guests.
Are they here yet? Yes! The quarterlies The American Scholar and Lapham’s Quarterly have arrived, the summer editions. I buy them, assured of blessings for the mind and spirit.
A sweet, ironic moment.
I was TSA pre-approved for my flight, but after I passed through the detector I was asked to step aside for a “random electronics check.” An official saw only my wallet, keys, cell phone (a flip phone with no texting), and bag with yellow pad, crossword puzzle book, nonfiction book, pencil, and eraser.
“No smart phone, sir?”
“No lap-top or iPad?”
“No. I’m low tech Bill.”
“Works for me,” he said. “Have a good flight.”
At the Driehaus Museum.
The house is the restored Samuel Nickerson House (1883), the mansion of a wealthy banker. It is lavish in expensive detail and furnishings, typical of the houses of the wealthy of the time. Its purpose, as indicated by guide material, is to show to the public the status and wealth of the owners, and in every sense it is made to impress the guests. Now I understand better Emily Dickinson’s poem from 1861, “I’m Nobody!” : “How dreary–to be–Somebody! / How public–like a Frog– / To tell’s one’s name–the livelong June / To an admiring Bog!”
Objects with which I work let me know their names: my push mower, Trrsk; my weed eater, Wally; my hedge trimmer, Carleton; my vacuum cleaner, Velma. When I get a garden hose, I bet it will be named Sue Henrietta.
Trrsk, Wally, Carleton, and I make an awesome yard-work team. And Velma and I work right well together, too.
We are in the Dog Days of Summer now. This Sunday night (July 9) will be the Full Moon of July, the Buck Moon.