On a morning like this, with the sun shining on a heavy-lidded sea…

… it’s hard to leave. Les UDs had a wonderful, freezing, oceanside dinner with friends last night (the firepit, plastic sheeting, and heaters made it bearable), and now they’re on their way back to ‘thesda.

The stormy beach and ocean this evening…

… have the sort of fog that lends

.

everyone a French Lieutenant’s

Woman nimbus.

Everyone is suddenly a melancholy enigmatic apparition. Stepping out of the mist – – but then beaches and oceans have always been ghostly settings for UD, where her dead step out for a boardwalk up-and-back with her, and where she’s perfectly willing to engage them in the old themes, the old questions. People’s lives end and in so doing become closed narratives; and UD tells and retells the tales she makes of these rounded lives, because she wants to understand. “Anyone with brains understands that he is destined to lead a stupid life because there is no other kind,” says a character in Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theater. And okay, c’est entendu, but it doesn’t discourage the search for meaning.

Life is first boredom, then fear.
Whether or not we use it, it goes,
And leaves what something hidden from us chose…

The dead on the boardwalk with me listen as I try to finger just what that something was for this one and for that one; it’s like Ravelstein telling Chick that he has a fatum:

It’s hard, all in all, to find a less prudent person than you, Chick. When I consider your life, I begin to be tempted to believe in a fatum. You have a fatum. You really are one for sticking your neck out.

For everyone maybe, then, some heavy through-line over which they have no control. They can only play it out. It’s harder to credit fate in the modern affluent settings in which UD grew up — choice and privilege and freedom seem to abound — but this seeming good fortune probably just hides the hidden thing that much more deeply.

A colony of herring gulls at sunset.
Cold Moon Rising…

… and Mr UD smiling through the cold. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Smudgy Start to the Day…

… in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, haunt of presidents-elect.

A full moon, contrails, reflected-sunset pinks and reds, and a calm ocean with a container ship on it.

Les UDs greet the early evening on their Rehoboth Beach balcony.

Being There.

6:30 AM, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

A Cavalcade of Knishes at…

Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

UD Leaves Tomorrow for a Few Days in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

At this point, the trip probably looks like a pilgrimage to the summer White House; but it’s really just another in a long line of beach jaunts. The weather will be beautiful for the next few days, and UD could use a breather from all the political tension – that’s why she’s going. Walking by the president-elect’s house – on my way to dark skies/Taurid fireballs at Cape Henlopen State Park – would be fun, but I’m not going out of my way for it.

Blogging continues, of course.

Fantastic Morning Sky with Fighter Kite.
La Kid and Natasha …

… having lunch in Rehoboth.

La Kid and her Buddy Natasha Greet Les UDs.

We are on our balcony. They are about to lie out on the beach.

UD Leaves in a Few Hours for Rehoboth Beach…

… which, loyal readers know, is a regular thing for her. There will be a large number of family and friends there, as everyone begins peeking out of their covid isolation and looking for something vacationesque but not far away. Loyal readers also know that UD’s blog energy does not flag when she is away – blogging continues apace.

Keep Calm and Carry Out.
Rehoboth Beach, this afternoon.
You hear things differently during a pandemic.

On today’s up-and-back boardwalk march, whenever greetings were exchanged with fellow walkers:

“Mourning!”

“Mourning!”

“Mourning!”

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