Wednesday, August 06, 2008

quiet spaces

For the past several days, I’ve had a houseguest. My routines, therefore, have included more sit-down meals (not that he would have minded the rough and ready type; he is, after all, an Ed friend) and more of a balance between work, home work and pleasant guest work, which, indeed, is only worklike at the margins.

The house guest has not left Madison yet and so I conveyed, through Ed, that he is again welcome to stay here, even though I am mostly gone this day and this evening. Ed, never missing an opportunity to remind me that guys need to decompress in solitude sometimes, said that probably his friend would opt to sequester himself somewhere around the shed tonight.

I thought about how, if I were to guess which gender needs to decompress more in solitude, I would have said female, not male.

But, I biked off to work without offering my thoughts on female decompression. Instead, for the second day in a row, I shouted up to the two men on my balcony, relaxed and enjoying their last bites of breakfast, men of leisure, women of work. It seemed fitting, especially since both are retired, even as one of them (the houseguest) is younger than me.

On my ride to work, I took the usual Shorewood detour (road construction, what else), passing a narrow strip of wooded land separating the road from a strip mall. Someone has used that little bit of land wisely, creating unusual quiet spaces. Close to the road, sure, but quiet nonetheless. I offer you those to look at and contemplate.

001 copy
Purchase photo 1944

007 copy
Purchase photo 1943