Thoughts On What's Real
Last week I wrote that New York was still in the embrace of
the Ice Queen and it still is this week but that embrace does
not spread across all the land. Leaving New York last Friday,
I took the train up to Hudson where the clouds had parted
and the sun was shining.
Taking the train to Hudson on Friday is a small ritual, done
most weeks, a small, sweet luxury of time and peace, riding
up the Hudson River, through some of the most beautiful parts
of the American countryside, past West Point, to Hudson, which
was once a whaling town. [I need to do some research because
I haven't quite figured out how Hudson, so far up the River,
was a whaling town but it was
Hudson Taxi is programmed into my mobile phone and once I
know what train it is that I'm going to be on, I phone and
they are there, faithfully, to pick me up and take me the
short drive out to Claverack Cottage.
I've gotten to know them, the taxi people. I know more about
the taxi business in upstate New York than I would ever have
thought I would have known. I know Jerry, owner of Hudson
Taxi, a company built by consolidating some of the assets
left behind when Piney, the late owner of Star City Taxi,
passed away. Piney got his last speeding ticket two weeks
before he died at eighty- three. He once drove me to our house,
during a blizzard, in his snowplow because they weren't going
to leave me stranded.
The taxi folks have become participants in my life and I
am grateful they are there. The ability to count on a ride
from the train station to the house is an important element
of making Claverack Cottage the soft and special place it
All of this is about last Friday, when I had been so aware
that New York was embraced in the arms of the Ice Queen. But
upstate it was different. The sun was out and there was a
spirit of hopefulness that has been missing lately in the
city. Business was okay - not great, but okay.
The spirit of hopefulness was there that was lacking in the
city and I was grateful to be able to experience a moment
of it. It anchored me and refreshed me.
On Saturday, the sun continued to shine and Tripp found lots
of time to plant more ferns and to work on rearranging the
shed. I sat on the deck; planning the party we will give this
coming weekend for the birthdays of Tripp and our friend Paul.
The creek flowed by; the geese were as noisy as they could
be. Our shopping was centered on essential things - like a
new barbeque. It was centering, all of these simple tasks
done in the bright light of a spring sun.
You see, all of us who live in New York - or in Los Angeles
- who are obsessed by our jobs and our businesses, need to
have places like Claverack to anchor us back to the reality
of life and to all those things that everyone else is thinking
about - like a new barbeque.
I went up to Claverack today to pick up the car, packed last
weekend with things from the country that need to come to
the city, so that we could take all the things from the city
that need to go the country up with us tomorrow
Jerry picked me up and took me out to the house and while
we went the five miles from station to house, I was on the
phone with a client who was having a lunch in Los Angeles,
talking about a project we're selling to Discovery, discussing
things like foreign sales. Essential to our world but of complete
nonsense to Jerry
This is why I am so fiercely grateful that I have Claverack
in my life. It reminds me that not everyone is obsessed by
the things that obsess me and that the world of media is not
the center of the universe of everyone.