A few days in the High Sierra…peace, quiet, nature. And now back to more than a hundred hideous work-related e-mails. So we’re taking a few moments to preserve the vacation mentality a bit longer.
Found the perfect book to take on a hike to the high camps and read by flashlight: “The February House,” Sherrill Tippins. This book details how, around the beginning of WWII, artists shared a brief moment of communal creativity. Picture a shabby Brooklyn brownstone with W.H. Auden, Carson McCullers, Paul and Jane Bowles (possibly the most unpleasant couple in contemporary literary history) and Gypsy Rose Lee all composing various works, sharing meals and wine and prowling the rough city docks. Well-written, well-paced and a different take on the lives of these artists at a moment when the world went mad. Five out of five purrs from the Literate Kitten as the ideal summer read.
Yes, we finished “Swann’s Way,” and yes, we are preparing for “In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower.” We avoided reading critical essays for the most part (with the exception of dipping into Roger Shattuck’s Field Guide) because LK wanted to read Proust with virgin eyes. But with Volume 1 complete, we are reading “Recovering Your Story,” Arnold Weinstein, which we’ll comment on in a future entry.
For now, we will share with you, dear reader, some voluntary memories we gathered during our three-day trip to Yosemite:
Caught mid-trail in a hailstorm…a man with Tourette’s syndrome who raised pet chameleons…a couple with 8 children between them who met on eHarmony…a 72-year-old naturalist who knew all the Latin names for the blooming wildflowers…fending off cumulus clouds of mosquitoes…hiking an unmarked trail once used by the 24th Mounted Infantry and the 9th Cavalry (Buffalo soldiers)…singing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” with 5 new friends from Santa Cruz…two beautiful sunsets from the high ridges…listening to raindrops scatter on the canvas tent during an evening rainstorm…two marmots and a deer…a group of six men who visit the High Camps every year (playing a golf game before and after their trip)…finding the back trail around Tenaya Lake…