“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree.“ Hi there! Pardon the long hiatus. Chie and I have been spending time in Maui and in Mexico, trying to avoid the New York winter. Right now we are sitting on the terrace of my son’s new second home on the west coast of Mexico. Did I say “home”? More like a palace—a 16,000 sq. ft. house facing over 200 feet of shoreline. Hence the quotation from Xanadu. Lounging here, gazing across the bay toward Punta de Mita, and listening to the ocean’s roar takes me back to another poem, called Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold. He too was fascinated by the r2elentless tide. “Only, from the long line of spray ?Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, ?Listen! you hear the grating roar ?Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, ?At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin, ?With tremulous cadence slow, and bring ?the eternal note of sadness in.” This place is a veritable paradise. However, as I sit here thinking, I contemplate the fact that even paradise has its serpents. Punta de Mita is a newly developed tourist vacation area, part of a long line of beach running from Puerto Vallarta north. Construction is constantly going on, and new stores and restaurants are opening. The Four Seasons Hotel has its most luxurious spa here. Because of this rapid growth, there are many jobs available, and this section of Mexico is relatively prosperous. Almost no one leaves here in pursuit of a better life in the United States. While there is apparently no extreme poverty, the contrast between the very rich visitors and homeowners and the local populace is glaring. Work becomes more available, but salaries are low and local prices keep rising. A sad thought. Another sad thought. I am nearing the age of 86. A friend of mine, Jack Koven, in Toronto has an expression for my status and his. According to him, we are in the “waiting room.” We have finished our active, productive lives and are just waiting around for the end. When I am in New York City, bustling New York City, I do not feel that I am in the waiting room. I am constantly active, doing something, writing something, creating something. However, after a couple of weeks here on the Mexican seashore, I start to feel listless. I can sit and stare at the ocean for hours at a time. In short, I am truly in the waiting room.
Better get back to New York quickly.
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