Time off for good behavior

I indulged myself this summer. I took time. For as long as I can remember, I’ve constantly been “working” on one thing or another. It’s hard to call it working in some ways (because I really enjoy it), but I’ve generally been reading or writing about one thing or another both during the school term and during the summer months. I didn’t do much of either this summer, for the first time since 1997.

I haven’t been worshiping at the high church of nothing, I’ve actually been pretty busy. I’ve taken more photographs than I taken in decades— mostly useless tourist stuff, but I feel a spark here or there. What I think I was up to, mostly, was to allow my eyes to focus beyond arms length. My eyesight is not what it was when I was in my thirties, and I do have to expend more effort for close reading. Allowing my eyes to wander around in the scenery was oddly exhilarating. Traveling the miles to get to that scenery gave me a better grasp of the geometry of the arteries of circulation during the nineteenth century (railroads, riverboats, etc.).

Perhaps more than anything, it’s been good to spend time with my wife—to actually be there, instead of thinking about something else. She would probably argue about that (she’s always sure I’m up to something). But that’s a good thing.