Every beetled basin

Every beetled basin

The Picnicker (that's what I shall call this friend with whom I seem to picnic most frequently) and I decided to have our next picnic at Stony Brook State Park. We picnicked at least four times during our day there, each time more successfully than the last.

One can hardly help but picnic extremely well in such a beautiful place.


We sat here for some time. The Picnicker sketched. I read a novel that turned out to be positively awful. I thought it was morbidly funny at first, but it turned out to be just morbid. I alerted The Picnicker each time it took a turn for the worse. "Oh, another murder, it turns out," I'd say. And then: "Dear me! Infidelity!" Eventually: "Good Christ, incest!" At one point, a woman passing by asked what I was reading. She hadn't heard my exclamations - I think she was intrigued by the sight of someone reading in the middle of a stream. (Or it was the picnic; we were picnicking publicly again.) I held the book up instead of telling her the title, hoping she wouldn't be able to read it from so far away. "It's very dark," I warned her. "Very, very dark." I am still concerned that she tracked it down and read it and now hates me.

Never read a dark book when you're already having a rough time, that is my advice to you. You will do unconscionable things. Now I'm a person who has thrown a book in the garbage and I have to live with that for the rest of my life, G how S. Next time I'll bring a field-tested author when I'm luxuriating in the beauty of nature.


I managed to luxuriate pretty well anyway, in spite of that damn book.


The Picnicker and I always get absolutely perfect weather for our picnics, because we are adept at checking the forecast.


Someone had created some Andy Goldsworthy-style sculptures throughout the park. I was charmed by them. I'm not sure why I only photographed two. G how S.

There is this short story by Evelyn Waugh called "Cruise." It's an hilarious series of brief letters from a vapid young lady to her brother, in which her verbal tick is to say "goodness how sad" so often that eventually she starts abbreviating it. It's a good story. But beware: if you read it, you will start appending "G how S" to every third thought.


The Picnicker found a newt, which was quite a thrill. I haven't seen a newt in years, G how S. I didn't think to take a picture of this either. . . . G how S.

Really, you try not to say it. It's impossible. I'll be saying this for the rest of my life. G how S!

This post has clearly unraveled and had better be brought to a close quickly, before something else makes me sad. I didn't plan much in the way of a conclusion, but, since I stole the title from Mary Oliver, it seems fitting to steal the ending, too:

And maybe there will be
after all,

some slack and perfectly balanced
blind and rough peace, finally,
in the deep and green and utterly motionless pools after all that

Every beetled basin as well as And maybe there will be are from The Waterfall by Mary Oliver.

Photos are by me.

Ship of Theseus

Ship of Theseus