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I can't write a eulogy for Robin Williams, though I wish I could. He's been part of my cultural landscape since (and it's bizarre that I can lay a finger on the exact day), February 28th, 1978 – thirty-six years ago – when Mork was introduced to the world via an episode of Happy Days. I was in eighth grade. And Robin Williams has been there ever since. Some of his earliest films are still among my favorites. Robert Altman's admittedly misbegotten Popeye (1980), for instance, and George Roy Hill's adaptation of The World According to Garp (1982). And...I just don't know what to say. This isn't what I do. But it is truly, seriously, fucking hard to imagine the world without Robin Williams. He made it better. And now it does not fall to us to regret there will not be more, but to be grateful there was so much, to be thankful to his memory.

We're leaving on August 23st to spend two weeks at my mother's in Leeds, Alabama. It will be the first time I've seen my mother since May 27th, 2008, when Kathryn and I went to Birmingham to retrieve all my stuff from a storage unit downtown.

Toady, I have to try and shake off the lassitude that's been with me since finishing "The Cats of River Street (1925)," back on August 3rd. I was supposed to spend a few days afterwards getting outside, going places, and so forth. That didn't happen. Mostly, I've sat here, not working. There was a fairly disastrous drive south and west on Sunday, which I mentioned yesterday. We went all the way down to the Rhode Island-Connecticut state line, to Watch Hill. I knew almost as soon as we left the House that it was a bad idea, but it seemed like a worse idea to turn back. Probably, I was wrong. The tourists I knew would be there, thick as flies on a rotting carcass, as they would have been at any destination along the coast that we might have chosen. I had to restrain myself from marching down Wauwinnet Avenue snatching the "devices" from the hands of teenagers and children and hurling them into the cove. We often stop ourselves from doing good things that should be done. The sun off the water was murderous, and I sat with my back to the sun for a short while. We walked as far as the merry-go-round, having to weave our way through the yammering throng. It was miserable. I doubt we spent more than twenty minutes in Watch Hill, after the hour drive down (and before the hour drive back). Three obligatory photos behind the cut:

I have often looked at the yacht Aphrodite, which is almost always anchored in Watch Hill Cove, and thought, Here is a symbol for all the failures of my life, all if wanted I never will have. If you think that makes me shallow, fuck you, and so be it.

The camera completely failed to capture the sun off the sea.

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
~ Coleridge

All photographs Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Today, I need to choose images by Richard A. Kirk for the covers of the PS Publishing reissues of Tales of Pain and Wonder; To Charles Fort, With Love; A is for Alien; and The Ammonite Violin and Others. Also, there's the art for the limited edition of Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, and the whole matter of artists for House Under the Sea: Mythos Tales. Yeah, right now it's all about the visuals.

Eye See,
Aunt Beast


( 9 comments — Have your say! )
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you and Spooky have a chance to go to Alabama like you've been wanting to do, so you can experience some of the summer you've been missing otherwise.
Aug. 12th, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)

It's great that you and Spooky are leaving in time to roast in AL.

Aug. 12th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
Lovely words about Robin Williams. I found out last night and am still feeling the effects of the gut punch. "Mork & Mindy" was an enormous part of my cultural childhood landscape.

Also, well said about fucking tourists and their fucking devices.

Hope the art cover related stuff goes well.

Edited at 2014-08-12 09:35 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2014 10:41 pm (UTC)

It has gone very well, actually.
Aug. 12th, 2014 09:38 pm (UTC)
Nice pictures, sorry about the tourists. It's like that in San Diego, too. Every now and then I find a spot where no-one's around but the next time I go, there's usually a pod of the slow, tacky, noisy things in stupid t-shirts. I've been meaning to take a more careful and discerning drive up and down the coast.

If you think that makes me shallow, fuck you, and so be it

I'd say you were shallow if you didn't dream of a life with something like a yacht.

Aug. 12th, 2014 10:42 pm (UTC)

there's usually a pod of the slow, tacky, noisy things in stupid t-shirts.

Aug. 12th, 2014 09:48 pm (UTC)
It is an inconsolable loss to laughter and anything funny today.

I rarely am able to spend time at the coast, thank you for sharing the photos. The sun over the water is almost like a visual drug for me, like an invitation to just stare and contemplate it for hours.
Aug. 13th, 2014 06:04 pm (UTC)
Damn- I was just there! I didn't even have time to see your ma, but if I had known I would've tried to change my schedule to see you all. POOT. Next time. Have a great trip!
( 9 comments — Have your say! )

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