Monday, May 10, 2010

Said the Chair

Seven days have passed since moving out to the beach, and with those days the process of settling in grows more visible in daily increments. The tables and chairs, along with their various cousins, talk among themselves of their happiness with feeling useful again. A random book sits on the arm of a chair, on the sofa a well-used pillow sags in a rumpled plop, and a half-full coffee cup rests too near the edge of a shelf. In the air lingers a faint suggestion of the shrimp I cooked for dinner, and from down the hall comes the sound of towels tumbling in the dryer. Looks like home, smells like home…must be home.

Surfing through my iTunes music library yesterday, I caught a few bars of a Japanese pop tune by Exile, and for just a minute there I missed Japan, for all the associations that tune called to mind. For just a moment I wanted badly to be back in Japan.

But here is good. There will be lumps now and then in getting used to the differences and changes, but the ride has been easy so far. It could be the beach and the climate here. There’s a sameness about the days that feels great one minute, and dangerous the next. It could be Sunday, could be Monday, but the golden weather, the blue-green ocean and the passing flights of pelicans remain constant over what seems like every day.

There is the three miles of walking on the beach each morning, exercise which induces an intoxication like the fountain of youth. At 7:30 a.m. the beaches around here are all but empty in this season. I pass no more than seven or eight others jogging, cycling or walking. On occasion a man surf fishing, lost in his gaze out at the deep blue simple.

My fountain pens, or at least those I have now, have been affected by a change in location and climate. Mac users have been known to describe their computers as having a distinct personality. I won’t use that loaded word about my pens, but I do sense a difference in the way at least four of them are writing these days. (a Sailor, a Lamy, a Pelikan and a Platinum) Does the salt sea air influence ink flow, I wonder. The bulk of my fountain pen collection, as well as sixty-plus bottles of ink are now bouncing on waves somewhere inside a cargo container mid-way across the Pacific. I expect to receive those boxes in early June.

Looking back on the first week, I feel good about this new life.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, humidity, temperature and ambient conditions do affect how your pens work. But, it could also be your paper. The humidity you experience there in Florida could subtly change the paper in terms of how it accepts ink from the pens as the moisture content of paper could be higher in those conditions. So, yes, it could be the pens, the ink or the paper in combination that are acting differently. I'm thinking altitude isn't a big change between Japan and Florida but that can also affect things a little. It's more likely temperature and humidity, however.


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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America