Monday, September 22, 2008

At Summer's End, A Friend

Look at this lovely morning glory Patience has climbing a string down in the backyard. I just love the delicate purple markings.

Yes, it's been a few days since I've blogged last, and surely you are all wondering just what the Gardener's been up to, how the Nest is coming along and was anything of note done to celebrate the final days of Summer 2008.

Actually, I had just planned on a quiet weekend of painting and time in nature, but it turned out to be a much more interesting and exciting weekend than that, as Badum and I ended up hosting our first weekend guest!

In commiserating with a fellow blogger about our recent respective malaises (is that the plural?), I had touted the creative process as a helpful means to distraction...and painting as the sort of process you could do while spending time sorting through your thoughts...and I extended a sort of Tom Sawyer-like invitation to come help paint the apartment this weekend.

But I must admit, it was still a delightful surprise when Patrick called to say he was interested in coming to help paint if I'd been quite serious (perhaps he's realizing that I am rarely all-the-way serious about many things...there's little fun in seriousness, after all) about the invite. Which is how we ended up finally meeting at the bus station in Hyannis late Friday night!

The whole blogging experience (or at least ours) has put us in touch with such a great circle of people, where at least the frameworks for real friendships have been somewhat intensively forged online, and of course, that whole cyber world creates this sense of "imaginary" friends, and you never truly know how you'll respond to someone when you meet them for real.

I'm happy to say Patrick and I seemed to step across the gap between worlds with a hug and a smile...and we quickly moved on to proving that old John Lennon saw about how what people really want to do is sit in rooms and talk...although we proved they also want to do it (the talking, People; heads out of the gutter, cheapen us all with your tawdry little imaginings...) in cars, during inauspicious late-night dinners in Wendy's parking lots...and while walking through marshes...or standing in the cool waters of Cape Cod Bay...or sitting in the sun on the deck with coffee and Cheerios...and yes, even while painting...we did get around to a little bit of that, too.

But we did speak of each one of you. Some more than others, naturally, and almost entirely good things. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear that any one of you spent at least some little piece of the weekend going, "hey, what's that I feel in the Universe...something's going on...why are my ears ringing...?" Yah, that was us. We talked about the Secret Wisdom of Bachelor's Buttons, too.

Look at the color of the dining room: it's called Amsonia Peach, which I chose as my orange component of the rainbow painting scheme for the Nest. It's amazing in the way it changes so totally as the light does. One moment, it's pumpkin pie orange, another moment cinnamon brown or here, with a blush of gold and pink, just like the skin of a peach.

The light changes a lot in this room during the course of a day, so it should be fun to watch as this color transforms right along with it. And also, some of the late day light comes in bounced off the now-pink, but soon to be brick red walls of the it will be interesting to see just how that changes things, too.

It really was a fun weekend. It was nice to have a kindred spirit to talk with about so many things on each of our minds. While neither of us saw this as one of those transformative, "How Someone Got Their Groove Back" weekends, in the process we may have at least realized that we each should actually have grooves, anyway...being fabulous gay guys and all.

And hosting a guest on Cape Cod always carries the additional pleasure of making one slow down and appreciate the incredible beauty around us.

With the recent frenzy of life, I've done little more than drive to local beach parking lots lately, to hurry up and soak in the sunset and snap a few photos before dashing home to rearrange some furniture or paint something.

What a joy it was to slow down and walk through the marsh with someone, laughing out loud (but not LOLing, for gosh sakes...) and talking about it or just soaking it in...and then actually walking out into the bay as the tide began to lap in around us, blue herons and hundreds of other birds flying about overhead, foraging in the shallow waters for their dinner as we snapped photos.

I should say we weren't totally chatterboxes. An evening like this would be pointless if you didn't know when to be silent and let the amazing world be around you.

The late season songs of the crickets sounding a little sad, but sweetly so, from the marsh grass. complemented by the plaintive and ungraceful blat of the great blue heron as it soars across the bay waters, the honk of a fast-moving duck overhead, the lapping of the water around our ankles. The mystery of what the small unseen creatures were who occasionally dimpled the calm surface of the water from below and the way the color of the sky changes so gracefully as the sunlight vanishes and the stars appear was all quite soothing and wonderful.

It was good to have the birds' foraging as a reminder for us, as we are neither of us apparently clock-watchers, especially not with all the nature and talking and quiet to enjoy...but it wasn't too long after that we discovered that the Gardener's Nest is indeed within delivery range for a Papa Gino's pizza.

Not watching the clock while chatting is also how we missed the earlier opportunity to get Patrick on a bus back to NY Sunday...and it was as we dashed for the car and the bus station a little while later that we remembered we'd not done a proper snapshot to prove we'd met...and so here's that.

If you get the opportunity to meet Patrick, I highly recommend it. He's fun and smart and thoughtful and all that you imagine he might be...and a little more, too. P, thanks for your company this weekend, it was really great fun. I hope we'll do it again sometime soon (there's more painting to do, after all).

Now on a technical note, I'm excited about having met Patrick for another reason: as a blogger, I can now be validated, at least to a small circle of other bloggers Patrick has met (and more distantly, through all the bloggers they have met), and am proven to be a real person more or less as represented in Blogland (perhaps a touch more neurotic...).

Pinnochio voice: So, look at me, everybody, I'm a real boy!

I stopped into work on the way home from the bus station, which is how I learned that Danny and Sara were still in town at the end of their week's vacation and they invited me to join them for the summer's last sunset...which you can see above.

Though I expressed to Dan the interest his internet fan base had in a further photo shoot in the outdoor shower, I'm afraid we never got around to that this time. ; )

We were really too busy just chilling out as the last gorgeous moments of summer slid down behind the horizon.

And it was really no surprise to me at all that the sun turned a lovely shade of violet as it vanished.


Sooo-this-is-me said...

Funny but I think the gay blog-world is about to become the game 'Six Degrees To Patrick' haha!

Glad you guys had a nice weekend together!

Greg said...

Ha ha...hadn't thought of that. Such a game could only make the world a better place!

Java said...

I love that idea, the Six Degrees to Patrick! I've had the immense pleasure to meet him, so I'm one degree closer to you now.

Funny, I recognized him in that first picture, the one where he's hiding behind his camera. I said "that looks a bit like Patrick!" I'm so pleased for the both of you that you got to spend some time together. I love the picture of both of you.

MartininBroda said...

These news are pure joy.

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, the peach is extremely nice, and it's wonderful you've gotten to meet someone from the blog world, in person. I, of course, always knew you were a real person-- or the Rhet would have some serious s'plaining to do, for talking all those years ago about her great friend Greg from college. :)

Sunny thoughts ahead!

Greg said...

I always figured you wuz real, too. You can't make that stuff up!

; )

That Rhet's a great reference, for those who know her!

Sunny thoughts, always, dear!

Birdie said...

I think Patrick could make a nice part-time job of Personal Validation for bloggers. It is such a wonderful exam, sitting and talking, that you just can't wait to do it again. I think perhaps we need an annual update.

country girl said...

I was a tad worried when you disappeared for whole weekend. Glad you had fun; I love your peach walls. I never doubted you were real. Just hope Patrick isn't a smoker.

Greg said...

Country girl, the peach walls are SUCH fun...there's no furniture in there yet, save a single bookcase and some laundry baskets of folded clothes...but I'm still walking in there every now and then and seeing what the color's doing at that moment.

I'm happy to say Patrick is NOT a smoker...he's a pretty good painter, though!

TigerYogiji said...

When you speak of me, and you will speak of me, please be kind... ;)

Bird said...

Ah I've missed coming here! I LOVE it that you've met a blog friend, it looks like the painting was a good way to bond - and if it were possible I'd come painting too :D The photos of the birds over the still water are just GORGEOUS.

There is something really lovely about a freshly painted room, especially one with a colour that changes in the light. Hope the rest of the decorating goes just as well

Bear Me Out said...

Greg, it IS good to have your existence confirmed by the witness of another. And now you have created the "Blogger Gossip" Game. What a new way to play "do you know" (if only to discover how many degrees from Patrick one might be.

And, wherever my mind may be, I hope you all had a wonderful time!

Butch said...

What a delightful surprise and a nice thing to do for another. Having a friend help in the painting certainly makes the job go faster. I'm glad you both had a chance to meet, perhaps, some day I will do the same. Your vista pictures of sunsets are truly beautiful and peaceful to look at.

Greg said...

Butch, it was an awful lot of fun...nice to establish the Nest as a home with a whole raft of new memories. One of the first things we did was listen to the Mooney, Woods and Nogle CD, actually!

Patrick said...

Oooh, I love the idea of this game, especially if, as Birdie suggests, it's something that requires at least yearly renewal! I've had such good luck with my encounters. All seven people I've met so far have been lovely, and at least six of them were exactly who they said they were. I'm going to look into this part-time job deal, it sounds fabu.

It was a delight to spend the weekend with you, Pal, and I can't wait to see how the apartment shapes up. Rub Badum's belly for me (I love a cat who lets you rub his belly).

Marc said...

I loved this post, and the morning glory is absolutely stunning. And I loved the Pinocchio reference. Very apropos, esp. with all this blogger fakery going lately.

Curt Rogers said...

Greg, this is simply the most beautiful of posts. I am so happy you've discovered a new friend as your new life unfolds before you in splendid color. My heart is overjoyed for you.

And the next time you see Patrick, please, both of you, consider helping me take Duncan for a walk around the lake.

Jess said...

Excellent! Now you know we actually exist, since you've met Patrick and you've seen Patrick in photos with us! It's like some sort of blogger validation service! :)

Glad you guys had such a great visit!

Greg said...

Patrick Lacey, Embassador of Blogland.

Greg said...

Aww, jeez: "Ambassador", of course. Blame the paint fumes.

Wonder Man said...

very nice, I'm glad you are having a good time