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n.n.b. A new year means new reading. New reading means new books! Many, many new books. Check out the latest and greatest on my freshly-dusted digital bookshelf here.
Time is a storm in which we are all lost. —William Carlos Williams
Above: How do you box that which you are in, that which is all around you?
Time is an odd construct.
If you search online for “time,” you receive more than 21,600,000,000 results.
Above: 21.6 billion entries. As context, 21.6 billions seconds is equivalent to ~684 years
That is almost as incomprehensible a number as time is a notion.
Time is nothing more than man shouting into the storm in which he is enveloped.
It is the equivalent of David Foster Wallace’s two young fish inquiring, “What the hell is water?”
It is an attempt by our feeble human intellect to comprehend what was, is, and will be.
Put simply, time is both absolutely necessary and downright preposterous.
It’s odd how we conceive of and conceptualize it; time ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes. Days drag on and years fly by.
We divvy time up via the crisscross of lines over black and white space—as though something so abstract and abstruse could be confined by mere two-dimensional representation. It is tantamount to trying to paint a monochromatic rainbow.
Whether Julian, Mayan, or Gregorian, our calendars impose superficial order on amorphous entropy; they resemble mashed potatoes lazily plopped on a waiting plate.
If time is a storm, 2021 has been a raging tempest.
It has been an abject doozy; proof that you make plans and God merely laughs.
During still moments, I swear I begin to hear a faint, distant chuckle from the Man Upstairs. Maybe He’s less benevolent despot and more Joker: “Some people want to watch the world burn.”
Personally, I’d prefer less bang and more whimper.
Time—and existence, for that matter—stretches further than we laymen could ever imagine.
It is no more than construct that clocks (pun intended!) our mortality.
That said, we cling to this flimsy scaffolding of our reality despite its inherent limitations.
We humans stumble as time marches.
We just try our best to keep up.
Each day has a flavor, a rhyme, a taste, a hue, an odor, and mood that clings to it.
Each week emits an emotional residue onto us humans as we diligently, dutifully live through them.
Without further ado, the anatomy of the days of the week:
Sunday — The terror of skydiving into yet another week. The pangs of piling obligations and responsibilities felt squarely in the gut. Oh subtle beast, oh talented oppressor—all blood and guts and thunder!
Monday— Drab, droll, difficult, made to shake the rust and sleep off the weekend. Light with opportunity, soon made heavy by rigamarole of routine and meetings. A hydra of meetings: finish one and two more appear The happiness before impending doom.
Tuesday— Feet wet, you continue slogging forward, foot by foot, inch by inch. “After all, the night is darkest before the dawn,” you whisper to yourself as you ensure new covers adorn each and every one of your TPS reports.
Wednesday— The freestanding, veritable ugly duckling. The redheaded stepson who is also middle child, middle finger to working men and women and learning children everywhere. If “fuck this shit” was a day of the week. It stands as resplendent, freestanding middle finger of every week.
Thursday— The ring finger of days: utterly useless and immobile without the help of Monday/Wednesday keeping it steady. Its nickname, “Thirsty Thursday,” speaks of the workman’s pining for a just-far-enough weekend that inspires depression due to its distance. The slow drudgery of the workweek gives way to drinks, drugs, and debauchery.
Friday— Pregnant and swollen and sick with the expectation of the newborn; that screaming wailing mass: the weekend!
Saturday— Saturday, you son of a gun! Day of Champions! Wellspring of freedom, opportunity, wonder, and wanderlust. You reek of smoked barbecue and taste sticky saccharine. The weekend is the thumb. Without it, we couldn’t get a grip.
And so it goes…
The Best of the Rest
2020 has been a strange year for experiencing the movement of time. Sometimes leaping, other times bounding, it feels as though the year was simultaneously viscose as molasses and fleeting as grains of sand through outstretched hands. Much of the time that was 2020 was spent at home. Below are a few abodes and chateaus in which I wouldn’t mind passing considerable time in 2021 and beyond.
On December 1st the British Virgin Islands officially reopened for visitors. If you're worried the multiple tests, fees, and four days of quarantine aren't worth the trip, take a look at the Oil Nut Bay Beach House. The modern 5,807-square-foot retreat on Virgin Gorda puts you mere feet away from the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. Before you get to the beach, the home welcomes you with a grand atrium featuring a bronze sculpture from British artist Simon Gudgeon and a reflection pool. The floating steps lead to the great room complete with kitchen, dining room, and living area. A wall of sliding glass doors expands the room out to an expansive terrace with an infinity pool and fire pit area, overlooking the white sand beach. As far as the sleeping arrangements, the home includes two master suites with private terraces and outdoor showers, along with four additional guest rooms. It also includes two 6-passenger electric carts to drive around to the community's restaurants, fitness studio, and marina.
Backed by the dramatic landscapes of California's scenic Portola Valley, the Westridge house embraces its natural setting with an elevated take on the rural vernacular. The 7,000-square-foot dwelling, designed by Richard Beard while Principal at BAR Architects, is situated on a gentle slope at the northern side of the property. Comprised of a series of gabled forms, an exterior palette of cedar shingles and stone references the rugged surrounds while oak, fir, and cedar wrap the interiors in rustic warmth. Thoughtfully placed windows and glazing keep the living spaces connected to the outdoors but for more expansive views, a covered terrace provides sweeping vistas across the oak trees and the neighboring Windy Hill in the distance.
For about 250 nights a year, the northern lights dance across the sky in and around Fairbanks. Experience the natural phenomenon in comfort at the Borealis Basecamp. Just 25 miles outside the Alaskan city, the remote camp is host to a collection of 10 fiberglass igloos. The cozy domes are designed to maximize the nightly show with 16-foot curved windows, allowing guests to view the Arctic sky from their bed. Each igloo also includes a sitting area, breakfast bar, and a full bathroom. During the day, visitors can explore the 100-acre property by dogsled or snow machine and when it's time to refuel, the onsite restaurant serves local delicacies inside a custom yurt.
A Laugh to Go
Per my about page, White Noise is a work of experimentation. I view it as a sort of thinking aloud, a stress testing of my nascent ideas. Through it, I hope to sharpen my opinions against the whetstone of other people’s feedback, commentary, and input.
If you want to discuss any of the ideas or musings mentioned above or have any books, papers, or links that you think would be interesting to share on a future edition of White Noise, please reach out to me by replying to this email.
With sincere gratitude,