I’m on vacation.
I came now because I knew that the world had returned to its post summer routines.
But I have not returned to these things.
I’m on vacation.
Extending the summer. It’s too short.
Adding September helps.
I have promised myself to leave my to-do list at home.
No to-do lists on vacation.
I will focus on other things.
But not the books that are home on my bedside table. Book club books. Heady books I bought at the writers’ conference. Books that I’m not embarrassed to tell you I’m reading.
I brought none of these.
I brought a lazy beach read about the island I’m staying on. A gossipy movie star’s book about his glitzy life. And a romance novel written by a woman I always like cozying up with.
None of these I would admit to reading if you asked me.
They are my vacation books.
Now , don’t be confused. I can’t draw. Never could. But I can see.
And I love taking a pad and following the lines of what I’m looking at.
A wicker rocking chair not rocking. A garden pot stuffed with edible flowers. My dog lying by the front door.
I think it brings me focus. Allows me to quietly be in the moment.
At home, in my studio, at least lately, I haven’t been able to find a thing to write about.
The world has interfered and nothing is funny or meaningful.
But out here, in the middle of the ocean, I am untethered. It doesn’t matter what I write. Like this mindless piece I’m writing now about what I’m doing on vacation.
The words come easily. Because I’m safe. And, besides, we’re just talking.
At home, I’m always on a diet. I go out to eat with friends of course. But then I do a day or two of Lean Cuisines. Very unhealthy I know. But I’m counting calories.
Out here I’m not counting.
There are food memories here. Lobster rolls from the place on the town dock. Espresso ice cream in a warm waffle cone from the corner juice bar. Clam chowder from the beach shack. These are vacation memories I need to revisit each year. No calories.
I’m trying to savor every little thing I see. This morning we passed two swans on the pond near our house. We didn’t pass by. We stopped. Got out. Watched.
Yesterday, on the beach, we spotted a seal. It looked just like our Labrador, Emma. We sat and stared. Emma the seal didn’t move for a very long time. She was staring too.
The hydrangeas in the yard are blue. Turning to purple. Is that the ocean soil or some additive cocktail? I will have to look that up.
Reading. Drawing. Writing. Eating. Seeing.
That’s what I do on vacation.
No to-do list allowed.