Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I wandered over to the Art Museum on a rainy Sunday afternoon, that being the day before yesterday, to place a bid on a sailboat painting for a friend who couldn't be there. She gave me her limit; we didn't win. It was a wet day for Wet Paint, that cool annual fundraiser for the Art Museum. It was a wet day, too, for the annual reading of George Washington's letter to the congregation of the Touro Synagogue. Oddly enough, last time I was there — standing outside in the now-lush garden in a less-lush season to read a bronzed version of the letter which sits atop a dais beside the Jonathan Barney House (I didn't realize how old it was!) — it was also raining. The rain isn't unwelcome; gotta have rain. And we've had so few rainy days that it feels somehow liberating (to me) not to be thinking "Where can I walk??" or "Where can I ride my bike??" as I've been doing virtually every day, it seems, in all this/that interminably glorious weather. (What a summer!!) And, really, doing inside stuff isn't all bad — it's rather good, actually. I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't visited the synagogue's new visitors' center, where an excerpt from the famous letter is displayed prominently beside a stairway. I'd been inside the Art Museum, many times, where all those varnished details from floor to ceiling to stairway never fail to impress. Then, yesterday (Monday), being another rainy/windy day — two in a row!! — I did end up taking a walk to First Beach, where I derived vicarious pleasure from watching assorted rainy-day-people pursuing assorted rainy-day-activities, such as sailing and surfing (and combinations thereof). And there's always dining by the seaside with friends ...

"To bigotry no sanction ... to persecution no assistance." And, outside, there's that other great line (among so many great lines) about sitting in safety "under one's own vine and figtree."

(Mmmm, flounder ...)