Over the last few months I have been increasingly open to the ordinary pleasures of the world. I've always been something of an over-planner, a bit of a control-freak. In my fifties I am perhaps loosening up a little bit. I've always had an appreciation for the beauties of the natural world, but lately I seem to be taking the world right inside myself. Or at least our little part of it on the Racquette River. Carole & I have been together a long time & we have learned each other's ways; lately, I have taken great pleasure in just relaxing with her out on the deck or over the dining table, at ease with each other. All this in the midst of the country as a whole drifting into authoritarianism, with a sectarian minority of radical fundamentalists & Ayn Rand cultists in control of the discourse. I feel desperately lucky to live inside what must be a parenthesis.