There’s this great scene in Woody Allen’s film Manhattan where his character, Isaac, lists some of the things that, for him, make life worth living. He talks about Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, Flaubert, Louis Armstrong’s ?Potato Head Blues,? The Jupiter Symphony, and ?those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne.?
Whenever I find myself bogged down with the blues, I find it a useful activity to come up with my own random, rambling version of that list.
The first week of March seems like as good a time as any, so here goes. (By the way, they are listed?it goes without saying?in no particular order.)
Wood-burning stoves, Gilbert and Sullivan, eggs Benedict, Robert Louis Stevenson, horses in the snow, the people I love, Madeleine Peyroux, Neil Young, Hockey Night in Canada, Calvin and Hobbes, Marc Chagall, dark ales, smoked meat, Lemony Snicket, Charles Dickens, the fact that there are tigers and whales, klezmer music, Abarat, garlic bread, carrot soup, The Tempest, Dr. Seuss, Peter Sellers, winter campfires, trickster stories, poutine, Anton Chekhov, kayaks, dark chocolate, Leonard Cohen, snowshoes, shadow puppets, dim sum, Emma Peel, candlelight, unexpected travel opportunities, Jeeves and Wooster, The Threepenny Opera, snorkelling, Brian Eno, five-pin bowling, fairy tales, Tin Tin, London Calling, A Christmas Story, Moby Dick, ?Visions of Johanna,? Picasso’s ?Night Fishing at Antibes,? rose gardens, cornfields, Acadian fiddle music, antique fur hats, antique maps, outsider art, cats, bioluminescence, the Gaspe Peninsula, Robert Lepage, meteor showers, art deco architecture, Van Morrison, penguins, old horror films, Dylan Thomas, ghost stories, sea shanties, the Kronos Quartet, Miss Vickie?s, tobogganing, Tabasco sauce, Miles Davis, Tom Waits, scallops wrapped in bacon, greasy spoon diners, strong coffee, accordions, The Weakerthans, sheet lightning, Paul Quarrington, claw-foot bathtubs, P.D. James, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Bjork, chicken vindaloo, expensive writing paper, wind chimes, road trips, hardwood floors, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, fire jugglers, reading books in sleeping bags by flashlight, searching for owls, Irish accents, rooibos tea, roasted vegetables, Raoul Dufy, hand-knit sweaters, snooker tables, cross-country skiing, riddles, pirate films, Martin Scorsese, Paul Simon, Charlie Brown, the first snow of the year, fresh-shucked oysters, train whistles, blue cheese, Johnny Cash, libraries, Boston cream pie, unique tattoos, the smell of pipe tobacco, the sound of women laughing, ?Amazing Grace,? northern lights, gospel choirs, croissants, circuses, my no-speed bicycle, beachcombing, ?The Lady of Shalott,? toasted French bread and blackberry jam, free jazz, wrought iron balconies, narrow roads that lead to the sea . . .