Monday, January 08, 2007


I have offended Hamish. He is a Border terrier aged 18 months. I posted his photograph yet ignored his existence when writing of my family.


Reintegrating after a long solo journey (in this case, six months) takes a while. Journeys have direction and imperative: Get up, get dressed, get on the bike. Each day brings new people and fresh interactions. The countryside changes as does the climate.

Now I am static.

I am back home in England. We - my wife, Bernadette, Jed (17), and Josh (20) - live in Herefordshire at the foot of the Malvern Hills. Jed is a freshman at junior college. Josh is a freshman at Leeds University – Spanish and International Relations.

Our home, a 300 year-old cottage, lies down a narrow lane. The cottage is set in a large garden. Roses, clematis and ivy compete for wall space The lawns need mowing (right now, the ground is too wet). A gate opens onto the village cricket field. A cedar tree shades that corner of the garden. A line of oak trees divides the cricket field from surrounding farmland.


Yes - though my judgment is prejudiced.

And I have been lulled into inaction.

The great American essayist, James Baldwin, wrote: Havens are high-priced. The price a haven dweller must pay is in deluding himself that havens in fact exist.