1. We are preparing for our short visit to the beach, where I will eat fish and shrimp and sleep late and stare at Bethany in her swimsuit and listen to my children laugh in the excitement of being able to order a soft drink instead of water because we are wrapped up in the joy of being there.

2. Only a consumer would read the CEOs more than the poets.

3. Much of what you find beautiful as you grow older, you only caught a glimpse of as a young man. Maybe you knew there was something there, but had no words for it. Maybe there was no context for you to make sense of it with. But now it’s like a veil being lifted from a glowing bride’s face.

4. I am truly afraid of my boys playing baseball at the ballpark and what it will do to our family. This is not an attempt at humor. I did not like how my heart was glad when I saw that my son was not the worst player. That is an evil insecurity. It will be hard to hope my kids fail well and succeed well. I’d prefer to not worry over their skills. And I worry about our evenings of leisure being tapped and parched. I worry about the ballpark taking over.

5. I have never regretted one moment of listening to Van Morrison. It has never been a waste. It has always been good for me.

6. Have I mentioned how much I look forward to all the seafood at the beach?

7. It has been a long time since I’ve gone on a vacation without the dread of return.

8. When the dark night is all you’ve known, even though you’ve longed for the morning, it is something to be used to still.

9. The missing of my parents has become a broken pane letting air in, and then out, the kind you grow used to. Maybe it’s more like a dent you cannot knock out. Or a hole in the ground you cannot fill.

10. On Friday I read Heaney’s “A Requiem for the Croppies” while at lunch. I did know the story behind the poem, but the line “The hillside blushed, soaked with our broken wave” shot through me, even though I did not know The Battle of Vinegar Hill took place in the county of my ancestors.

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