Presumably I have returned to work now, and am thus to some extent re-engaged in East Hampton’s life, and am feeling once again at least somewhat useful.
“Il faut travailler, rien que travailler,” Rodin said to Rilke. Work is all.
Love and work — that’s it, said Freud, or something to that effect. Love and work and play, I’d say — play enlivening both love and work.
I have loved in the past eight months, though I haven’t worked much other than collect columns for a possible book, which may account for the fact that when I see people active in my neighborhood . . . landscapers, renovators, mail deliverers, dog walkers, mothers running behind baby carriages . . . I hail them perhaps more heartily than I would absent this pestilence. It is fun to see people engaged, healthy, and making things better.
The daily interplay with Mary has been buoying, of course, as has been playing in spirited, if somewhat inept, doubles matches at the East Hampton Indoor/Outdoor tennis club. I like to imagine her saying, “Come back with your racket or on it.” These matches, by the way, have largely been contested out of doors since May, though the outdoor courts by now have been stripped of their lines and nets for the winter.
Absent my beautiful, witty wife and the tennis games, I might have viewed my five-month furlough as an extended period of ennui from which I might never awaken.
Given all this ordinariness of late, I am eager to hear my fellow townspeople speak of what is enlivening their lives, what has surprised them, what is keeping them going.
I am eager to hear them speak of work, of love, and of play.
Want to write to Jack Graves about “the ordinariness of late”? He can be reached at [email protected].