392. New Year’s Day

All around us: The profound azure blue of the Lake dotted with thousands and thousands of small, star like diamonds – and I had been so busy thinking about … everything. I hadn’t even noticed it, and we’ve sailed what? An hour…? At least.

“It’s the high noon sun,” Jacob notes quietly. “And we’re in way up in the mountains – not a cloud on the sky. So in a way the lake is almost close enough to touch the sun. It looks that way, doesn’t it?”

“It’s more … it’s so beautiful,” I just repeat, at a loss for words again. “I wish I could take a photo, but with my old camera it’ll probably end up like shit.”

“Better just to watch it then … ” Jacob says. “Maybe it’s always better to try to experience the most beautiful things in life directly… ”

And so we try.

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391. To the Lighthouse

Yes, the breeze was freshening. The boat was leaning, the water was sliced sharply and fell away in green cascades, in bubbles, in cataracts. Cam looked down into the foam, into the sea with all its treasure in it, and its speed hypnotised her, and the tie between her and James sagged a little. It slackened a little. She began to think, How fast it goes. Where are we going?

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390. The Neighbor’s House

There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city, between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants including an extra gardener toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before.

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127. Familiar Conviction

It was lonely for a day or so until one morning some man, more recently arrived than I, stopped me on the road.

“How do you get to West Egg village?” he asked helplessly.

I told him. And as I walked on I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler. He had casually conferred on me the freedom of the neighborhood.

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

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