Lake’s Last View

Lake’s Last View

Barefoot in June, dancing gingerly around the pinecones strewn about the path to the beach. Tenderfoot no longer by August, but it is high time to put on ones shoes again. Summer is over. Time to turn to the dark side again. Three months makes for a short season, what with three-quarters of the year in-between each.

Still it is a magical time. Come midsummer’s eve the sun only briefly sets. The Canadian soldiers dance from dusk to dawn. Theirs is a short life, made shorter by the solstice, living only for the day, for them there is no tomorrow. Nearby gulls get no rest at all and sleepless themselves, they ensure no one else within earshot does either, their calls after dark begin again all the earlier before dawn.

By late August, the days are noticeably shorter, the bugs much diminished and the gulls all but gone. So are most of the summer people too. Annual greetings and goodbyes have been made. By this time of year, summer vacations have all been spent and back to school thoughts are now foremost on people’s minds.

The lake and the beach are returning to those people who live by them year-round. But before I go up to the cabin, to pack up all my cares and woes, at the end of the last beach day, I turn and look back towards the lake. Still aglow from the setting sun, filtered through the trees, it lights my way home. One last look, one last photograph, to remember by. Then turning, like the leaves have already begun to do, I head up. Tomorrow, we head down state and then home again.

Keith

Cargo Ship Keith

One of the many mysteries in life for me are the giant tubes astride the deck of the cargo ship Keith. Even the ship’s name, Keith, is a bit of a curiosity. Most boats that are named after a person generally use their full name, including the middle initial and sometimes even an honorific to boot. To address a ship, an ocean going vessel, on a first name basis is fine, if you are a crewmember or somehow associated with the boat, but to introduce it as if it were some one name celebrity seems presumptuous in the least, in my opinion.

Keith, by Chuck Close, 1970

Another Keith, is the equally titanic portrait by the artist Chuck Close. A thing for this artist, large canvas, super high definition, photorealistic, these portraits emblematic of his painting style. As is his propensity to name these works by the first name of the subject. I’ve always admired photorealism, it’s attention to detail, the painstaking demands of this approach. I am reminded of the struggles embodied in the old folk song, John Henry, the steel driving man. One man, giving his heart out in an endeavor to outpace a machine, progress and time. 

Anyway, what about those huge tubes? We frequently see salties hauling wind turbine blades, like these tubes they are racked and stacked on deck, but I don’t think that these tubes are part of any turbine. I think that they contain something that is the real cargo, making the Keith a container ship, in an oddball sense. The tubes are of different lengths, which I also find odd. The tubes look purpose built for the Keith. The boat is new, launched just last year. Its photo on various maritime registry websites shows the ship carrying these tubes. I wonder if the tubes contain some sort of bulk cargo, like a liquid or a gas? It’s a mystery.