Sitting across from me is the Captain Morgan. Not THE Captain Morgan of happy hour fame but a tour vessel docked by the Sagamore Hotel. It is a perfect morning, cloudless skies, a bejeweled lake and a gentle breeze to add a little comfort to the heat. From where I am sitting on the beach in Roger's Park, I can see part of the Sagamore's stately veranda. The Main Building's cupola almost floats above the trees on Green Island. Beyond, the verdant green of the Adirondacks rises from the shores of Lake George. It is a breathtaking sight and the perfect place to write - something I am anxious to do since the holiday and summer distractions have given me more than a few reasons to be lazy over the last nine days. For the record, that is the lie I have been cultivating from my seat in the sand.
Behind me are some of the distactions. My grand daughter and my neice are taking a tennis lesson. Beginner Tennis is like watching - or, in this case, listening to - a t-ball game...a lot of comedy if you're interested in amusing the kids and a lot of pain if you expect to see skill and talent. Right now, their instructor is asking each seven year old, "What's my most important rule?" The one kid who knows - "Don't swing the racket close to anyone!!" - swings his racket to demonstrate. The two other kids in my charge, a younger grand daughter and my five year old nephew, are attempting the reinact the Normandy Invasion. With every manner of plastic contrivance they are attempting to wrest the beach from an entrenched army of early morning gulls. Somehow, their repeated assaults drive the scavengers in the direction of my beach chair and laptop.
Languishing on the pages of my notebook is Pangea, my alternate reality and principal location for the second novel. For the last nine days notes and thoughts have not been translated into narrative. The distant bluffs and promontory that define the Pangean landscape - reminiscent of the Tongue Mountain range - are silent. For the moment, taking some time to observe summer boaters, scanning the skies for passing ducks and geese and marveling at the occasion Blue Heron, sharing a beer with a summer acquaintance and just finding a reasoned level of calm in an otherwise choatic world, is enough. That is, afterall, what Pangea is all about. Peace, tranquilty, harmony and happiness. At least partially. It is that aspect- the "tomorrow" part of the story - that I am "researching" right now. It is not hard to make the case and accept that all this procrastination is necessary. Soon, I will have to lumber back to my study and translate research into words. It is inevitable. Not to mention necessary. The steady drumbeat of guilt is getting louder. The summer doldrums will pass. But not today. The Gulls have been routed. It is time for a dip and then a beer...and maybe some soft ice cream for the kids.