Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

Hawthorn Hill

February 13, 2014

Late night drive stirs morning man

(Continued)

Talkers, especially the non-stop variety, often make me wish I had a stun gun handy. I do not think of myself as a bad person. But there are times when in the company of a congenitally incessant talker that drastic escape measures seem called for. On a recent trip we were having dinner with some friends when the ‘talker’ at the table looked at her husband and said, “Am I putting you to sleep?” One would think that drooping lids and a chin bobbing up and down against the Adams’s Apple might just be clue enough. As a character in one of my favorite novels once said, “talking is not thinking.” Non-verbal types can be just as exasperating. There is a comfortable middle ground. The key is being tuned into your audience. Unfortunately, too many people are audience averse. As long as they hear themselves they feel as if they are in heaven.

As I drove down the Mass Pike humming James Taylor tunes, chewing on such diverse subjects as the nature of determinism, the roots and parameters of liberty, the mind-brain dichotomy (always a fertile puzzler for me) and, most importantly, my inability to manage diaper changes with any degree of confidence (chalk that up to many previous failures – too loose, backwards, wrong size, etc.), it occurred to me that perhaps it might not be a bad idea to drive off into the darkness all alone with myself and my thoughts more often. The irony here is that while I can stay awake for hours while driving at night, after five o’clock in the evening at home one would be ill-advised to trust me with any but the least cerebrally challenging of tasks. I suppose I could work a bit harder at overcoming my post-dusk uselessness. Trouble is I actually look forward to those moments of couch drowsiness that morph into catnaps of profoundly serene detachment from the self and the world.

Text Only
Hawthorn Hill
  • A farewell essay More years ago than I care to contemplate, I very sheepishly sent a column in fully expecting it would be rejected. Lo and behold, it appeared shortly thereafter and for almost twenty years now I have have written these bi-weekly columns, first under the heading of "The Timely Writer" for The Freemans Journal and, for the last several years as "Up on Hawthorn Hill" with the Cooperstown Crier.

    July 17, 2014

  • Writing in the age of ad hominisms This past week several readers of these columns have asked about my absence of late. The honest answer is that there are times when the well runs a bit dry and one’s enthusiasm for forcing words on to the page wanes.

    June 26, 2014

  • Robinson novels show grace, intelligence I have been reading the novels of Marilynne Robinson the past several weeks. She writes with such grace and intelligence that I find myself rereading sections several times over to savor their exquisite taste and, in some instances, to make sure I have grasped the meaning of what she has written.

    May 1, 2014

  • Giving aid to Cornell at my window For quite a few years now I have participated in Cornell's Project Feeder Watch.

    April 10, 2014

  • Birder admits he confuses non-birding world I often run into people who ask me what it is about watching and studying birds that birders like me find so appealing.

    March 20, 2014

  • Olympics spirit in need of repair It is time to rethink what the Olympics ought to be about.

    February 27, 2014

  • Late night drive stirs morning man It has been a long time since my last stint at the wheel in the wee hours of the morning. Several days ago the phone rang at 1 a.m. Never a good sign. Within minutes I was in the car heading for Boston. The sun and I got there at about the same time. Fortunately, the late night emergency that required the trip has resolved itself, all is well, and I was able to head back home the following day.

    February 13, 2014

  • Shopping is never fun, simple I am not a shopper. Quick ins and outs are what appeal to me. The sooner the ordeal is over the better.

    January 16, 2014

  • Wondering if Holidays are worth the stress

    January 2, 2014

  • Laziness must be overcome An essayist in a weekly magazine, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, characterizes the past year as exhibiting an uncommon penchant for laziness.

    December 19, 2013