We are in Sarasota in a place called Pelican Cove, a kind of Utopian kibbutz-like
community,even though of course there are problems. This is Florida after all. Home
of Ron DeSantis.
It’s a place where saying gay and trans and reading Art Spiegleman has serious
repercussions. But Pelican Cove is a happy bubble, not unlike the bubble where we
normally live.This community is full of an unusually high percentage of interesting
people, teachers and social workers and writers and thinkers and many art makers. At
the swimming pool 52 steps (literally) from our friend Mark’s apartment, where he
generously lets us stay for a week every year, two people in bathing suits were reading
Life, no matter how and where, has its contradictions. Even though Pelican Cove is
full of radicals, progressives, and liberals too, there’s a man in a uniform in a booth by
the door. In fact, this is a gated community, and although I’ve always sworn never
ever to live anywhere gated, here I am. And not only that, I actually love it here. I
ignore the gate, the way I sometimes ignore other things that go against what I
believe. I have to suspend judgement for a week to be on vacation.
When we were in Mexico a few weeks ago, we asked everyone we met what they
thought about the President, and about Claudia Sheinbaum, the progressive Jewish
woman mayor of Mexico City who may even be the next President herself.
Although I went to the city envious of a place with a progressive woman mayor,
no one we asked –workers everywhere, taxi drivers, friends of friends – no one had
much good to say.
It’s always hard to understand a place that isn’t home. And to be able to accept
what we can’t change. That’s even harder now. Especially for so many of of us who
have been trying in thousands of ways for years.
Sarasota is just one example. What I love here – Pelican Cove, friends, even a few
good relatives, are just one part of the Sarasota equation. Still there are excellent
independent bookstores – one with a large poetry collection, a very good
indie movie house, beautiful beaches, and of course a lot of food. We don’t
really know what life is like anywhere here, except in this good bubble.
view from our balcony
Fifteen percent of the city is black. And 3,000 people are Amish and Mennonite.
Erik Arroyo, the city’s youngest ever mayor, is a 31 year old man from the Dominican
Republic. He’s a conservative Republican. Many of the well educated people of
Pelican Cove don’t know his name, though they live here year round, though they
define themselves as political. I’ve come late to the notion of compromise.
Some people say there’s a time in life (and maybe that time is now) where you
step back a little. Stop trying to change the world (maybe pick one thing, or two) and
enjoy each day with gratitude. If there ever was a place to try out this idea, it’s
Love to all,
PS Stay tuned for our first live Alte event in forever. In New York City on Monday April 3. Wine, poetry, music. Details very soon.
Thank you! For your clear vision and compassionate heart!
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