Hope

One of the gifts of living by the ocean is the view is ever-changing. I have a particular relationship with this constant inconstancy. I am grounded in a reality that fluctuates from no will of mine and it humbles me to bear witness to a majesty I know is endless.

I can literally see the curvature of the earth from my front deck in Malibu. Some days the sea looks like mirrored glass; other days the roiling whitecaps attenuate forever. This is what I can see, yet I know life teems beneath the surface in the labyrinth of an ecosystem of which I can only speculate. And yet I know it is there. Hidden from view, from knowledge, from judgment, from the temptation of assumption. All that is given to me is the moment and my perception. If I stand still and tune into my thoughts, I am aware of my consciousness. I believe if one really wants to know themselves, all they have to do is listen to the song within.

I’m saying all this because first thing this morning, I walked out and was caught unaware by the photograph you see above. It startled me in an awestruck, sobering way, yet the voice I consider the intimate “me” resounded unbiddenly in two words: “Of course.” In that moment, I was reminded of my fundamental beliefs, and they have everything to do with my relationship with the unknown. What I believe is things are rarely as they seem. In the midst of ambiguity, there is always hope.

You don’t need me to remind you these are strange times, unbalancing times, unsettling times, but what I’m thinking of is my understanding of the bigger picture. Because you have to pay attention to your perception of this world. If you do, it dictates experience both immediate and long-range. I’m neither prophet nor seer, but I trust my intuition. When I walked out this morning and saw this neon rainbow placed on the sky seemingly by the hand of God, what I knew at that moment is, always, there is great hope.

 

 

 

 

A Timely Letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald

A LETTER FROM F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, QUARANTINED IN 1920 IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE DURING THE SPANISH INFLUENZA

Dearest Rosemary,
It was a limpid dreary day, hung as in a basket from a single dull star. I thank you for your letter. Outside, I perceive what may be a collection of fallen leaves tussling against a trash can. It rings like jazz to my ears. The streets are that empty. It seems as though the bulk of the city has retreated to their quarters, rightfully so. At this time, it seems very poignant to avoid all public spaces. Even the bars, as I told Hemingway, but to that he punched me in the stomach, to which I asked if he had washed his hands. He hadn’t. He is much the denier, that one. Why, he considers the virus to be just influenza. I’m curious of his sources.
The officials have alerted us to ensure we have a month’s worth of necessities. Zelda and I have stocked up on red wine, whiskey, rum, vermouth, absinthe, white wine, sherry, gin, and lord, if we need it, brandy. Please pray for us.
You should see the square, oh, it is terrible. I weep for the damned eventualities this future brings. The long afternoons rolling forward slowly on the ever-slick bottomless highball. Z. says it’s no excuse to drink, but I just can’t seem to steady my hand. In the distance, from my brooding perch, the shoreline is cloaked in a dull haze where I can discern an unremitting penance that has been heading this way for a long, long while. And yet, amongst the cracked cloudline of an evening’s cast, I focus on a single strain of light, calling me forth to believe in a better morrow.
Faithfully yours,
F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

This is parody written by American author Nick Farriella for the humor site McSweeney’s earlier this month.

 

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