Not every day on Longboat Key is a classic subtropical experience. With a high temperature today of a mere 60°F under predominantly cloudy grey skies the flavour approached a decidedly more northern ambience. Many of the few people walking or cycling were wearing long pants and jackets, apparel normally unimaginable. After I cycled from one end of the island to the other and back (a total of 32.31 km or 20.08 miles) the atmosphere began to brighten somewhat, revealing a faint pink on the western horizon over Sarasota Bay and patches of blue scattered about, altering the overall character above the palm trees swaying in the wind from the NNE to the more traditional combination of blue, green and white.
It requires but the slightest movement of the atmosphere to reawaken the gentle bearing of the island. The heat from the cracks in the heavens instantly penetrates the immediate zone surrounding the cavity of activity below. Is it any wonder I questioned once again what possibly could improve upon this idyllic condition, this welcoming country, this convenient resort? Though I am notorious for shameless complacency (often at the risk of diluting larger possibilities) I am hard pressed to rationalize a dramatic transition. I am propelled in this conviction partly by my own relatively extensive travel which has taught me that the present circumstances are a hard act to follow particularly when considering factors such as proximity, security, culture, language, health issues, financial facilities and the like.
All my life as far back as I can meaningfully recall I have brooded over a summary of my current situation. It was never merely for the purpose of information but instead as a means of stopping the flow of information long enough to allow the briefest recapitulation before I hurried along into the next segment of activity, whatever it was. I consider my currency is always intense, a narrowness heightened by my inability to capture or develop any thought without acute examination – perhaps an adjunct of dyslexia to which I have always felt I was subject. This disorder forced me to read and interpret carefully, paradoxically an attribute in the practice of law where particularity is generally viewed as a benefit.
The extension of this habit of synopsis to even the most mundane activity or circumstances has evolved into something approaching obsession. Nothing is beneath résumé, abridgement and overview. Though the practice is indiscriminate it is nonetheless confined to only the most palatable ingredients. Fiction for example is utterly out of the question. This is not to say there isn’t room for distortion or drama but those additives are never mistaken for the reality. Their purpose if any is merely to improve the presentation in the same manner that a picnic table can be adorned with white linen and sterling silver without losing its underlying identity. The deceit (if one insists upon calling it that) never fools anyone.
Perfection is not something arising solely from prolonged repetitive application like the preparation for a musical performance. Perfection can be a mere reduction to fundamentals reminiscent of basic logic or mathematics. In that respect perfection is as much strategic as it is evolutionary. Over the past five years since my retirement from the practice of law I have purposely dedicated myself to downsizing in every sense of the word, not just real estate and furnishings but also personal possessions, flatware and ceramics; as well as social alliances and associations. Even sartorial matters have taken a hit! While it is hardly novel to say that simple is good I prefer to dwell upon quality, a characteristic which denotes often the same features as simplicity but without the confusion with lack of accuracy or refinement.