This is where I am tonight, a Frank Lloyd Wright cottage perched on the edge of a heavily wooded bluff overlooking Wisconsin’s Mirror Lake. I’m two miles from the Wisconsin Dells as the crow flies, though that viper’s tangle of water parks, roller coasters, resort hotels, and candy stores seems at least half a continent away from the stone terrace I’m sharing with a couple of curious squirrels. I dug the iPod out of my suitcase a little while ago and pressed the shuffle-play button, and what came crashing out of the speakers, much to my bemusement, was Stephen Sondheim’s “Color and Light”: Order…design…composition…tone…form. Check and double check.
By the time most of you get around to reading these words, I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the protracted process of making my way from Mirror Lake to my Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. A two-and-a-half-hour drive, two flights, a cab, and the thing is done (sigh). The Teachout Museum awaits me. Also a ton of snail mail. Also a Wall Street Journal deadline, which I have to hit before lunchtime on Tuesday. Also a major development in my professional life, which comes to pass first thing Saturday morning. (See immediately below for details.)
Conclusion: I need a break, not merely from blogging but also from the beck and call of my lunatic schedule.
Solution: I’m blowing town for a couple of days, purely for my own pleasure.
I’ll go up the spout tomorrow afternoon, mere minutes after I file Friday’s Journal drama column (that’s the deadline). I won’t post again, not even one measly little almanac entry, until Friday. Between now and then, my whereabouts will be known only to a tightly knit group of intimates, all sworn to absolute secrecy on pain of excommunication.
I shall attend no performances of any kind, nor shall I read any improving books.
I shall not check my e-mail.
I shall not turn on my cell phone (it doesn’t work where I’m going, anyway).
See you Friday.