seeking the wild of the everyday

Monday, April 29, 2013

-let us be lovers-

spring beauties
i've been away with my family for a fortnight,
looking for my reflection in granite, feeling ponderous and cynical and curious all at once,
and i've been meeting new landscapes, saying hello, and howdeedo, and i love you.

my in-laws are currently dwelling in manassas, va, right outside the DC metro area, and they were amazing enough to fly us out and give us the royal treatment. we may or may not have trashed their carpets while we were there.

i have great news: did you know that everything in dc is freee?? (at least all of the national museums and monuments) see, i did not know this.

i also congregated amongst many 8th graders, since that seems to be the age when school kids go on their dc trips. with this tyler and i have concluded that 13 year old boys and girls are idiots. sorry for the ageism.

i'm set on posting one blog about this trip, so it's a little windy and curvy and a loong scroll down,
and instead of describing everything we did (because obvious reasons) i decided to just share some of the thoughts that were prompted by what i saw at the time.

trip journal:
it's funny to travel 3000 miles to the other side of the continent
and hear and see so many familiar faces.
the cry of the killdeer,
the warble of a robin.
the grass's yellow buttons of dandelion
and the bright fuchsia sprigs of red bud.
of course, there are the unfamiliar faces,
and wholly foreign forests:
is that old hick'ry, hemlock, swamp oak, the birches and beeches, is that the sycamore, ash or the maple?
tall trees reaching at the same rounded-top height, crowded deciduous forest, their slender and hard trunks smooth, one could swing from tree to tree the way children do on light posts.

..we'll marry our fortunes together..

springtime in the piedmont woods.
virginia bluebells. my blue heaven. it was as if the sky grew from the ground.

aw, my little bluebell. he learned how to pick flowers on his own, yikes! he just can't resist something so colorful.
look at this grizzly bear. 

gettin' me some old tree vibes.

i've got some real estate here in my bag...

the true virginia reel. hashtag dork alert. (it's me, I'M the dork.)

virginia is for lovers.

i felt that my children
were living the 
childhood sublime,
and running through
the wet sand
into the
all constraints shed. we bought a pack of cigarettes, and mrs wagner's pies....

found a small cemetery within the woods at fountainhead park. nursed my baby in the stillness. 

the battle of bull run/manassas battle field:
a meadow worthy of gallivanting lovers,
punctuated with
the regal silhouettes of oaks
that have tasted
against their wishes.
<and have i told you about the virginian dogwood?>
you don't have to be a history nerd to
sense the weightiness and the heartbreak
of a battle field.
we walked off to look for america,
and we could find ghosts.
we could find them.
we knew where to look.
you think about america.
about the people.
about the history.
and you feel something.
you don't need to be a history nerd
to have
a battlefield
your mouth.

"fancy ghost.." (shout out to dark river's song, it was playing in my head the whole time i wandered.)
 ...and we walked off to look for america....

 "Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh, "michigan seems like a dream to me now"

fiddlenecks! young fern fronds.

i like seeing people
but mostly
i like thinking of martin luther king jr
on the steps of the lincoln memorial,
(the place they have chosen to represent freedom from oppression)
and i cry a little bit.
and then i cry a little bit 

 it took me four days to hithchike from saginaw
he was twenty

wwII/korean/vietnam memorials:
even though we traipsed through the war memorials, not wanting to glorify, or sanctify, or vilify,
i could not get through unscathed,
dry eyed.

robins don't mind the memories

i've gone to look for america

and i called him, "waddles toward puddles."

vista point from sky line drive.

shenandoah national park
the sky is overcast.
we're on our way to see shenandoah.
these country roads are taking us home, even though we've never
"old rag!" i roared into the wind.
"i know you old rag, the wind and i are a team!"
it was on the edge of the road.
a thunderstorm rolled in,
we couldn't see the valley below us.
the moment i yelled into the gale it pushed harder against me,
billowing my face, 
trying to take away my clothes.
and for a second i was scared,
but then i knew i was the 
and i was
i flew away
that day.

dark hollow falls

"no, linky, you can't go into the waterfall."

hobbit dadz are sexy.

fairy cup fungi

"mom, i'm going to be a mountain climber when i grow up."

self-portrait:  moss mirror.

visitor's center: the segregated past is claimed, it's not something one sees in california.

and i hiked (some of) the appalachain trail, and it was good. and rainy. these boots hiked the thousands of miles.

shenandoah nat'l park is a true CCC/ social program/ depression era project.

smithsonian. doll house.

laughing on the bus, playing games with the faces...

smithsonian us history museum 

american graveyard.

she said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy...

the new pantheon.


and ghosts.
it is a peaceful place.
there has been so
much pain
and exploitation
and inequality,
(i believe in change)
i'm so inspired by 
the people,
inspired by the
when people say: god bless america
i say: hear hear, because we need it.
i say: god bless the people,

and my cyniscm stems
bitter disappointment
when something
so verdant
begins to 
remembering that america is not synonymous
and class
corporatist pollution 

it is
struggle for freedom,
for emancipation
for suffrage

i feel 

what does it mean to be american,
other than
being born on 
a so-named continent?

i'll never know'
without turning to 

but... i think like it.

in granite:
a reflection of self and place

i said, "be careful his bowtie is really a camera"

tomb of the unknown soldier. people sit and the watch the ritualistic changing of the guard; a solemn dance.
ever seen a jack-in-the-pulpit?

we encourage post-drive zzzzzzz's.

-one- chocolate chip can do this.

self-portrait: looking for lady's slippers
"Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat"

nat'l air and space museum (and below.)

surrounded by granite and marble temples holding aged and yellowing documents. will they be around as long as the pyramids?

dc grand train station.

"we smoked the last one an hour ago"

native american museum.
" my identity an artifact?"
complex belief systems (who doesn't love a great creation myth?)
wrapped in colors and elements and directions,
wrapped in the earth in the purest manner.
<they know what they know>
(this in stark contrast with the paper i read on the metro with an article about, you guessed it, the metro.)
millions of people living on the continent before european settlers with thousands of languages, inhibiting a wide spectrum of ecosystems.
"the have never heard of america."
"their bodies lay in heapes.." 

us botanic gardens. give me a place where all the plants have name tags and i'm pretty high on life. they had a greenhouse dedicated to medicinal plants.

blood root. prince william forest park.
when a flower bursts through, pushing through inches of leaf litter to reach sunlight it is special
there are no carpets of lupines or poppies,
just solitary
woodland blooms, secretive and deliberate, curving and small,
most not more than 6 inches tall

a real live crown.
hope diamond, billions of years old.
your king and queen await...

smithsonian museum of natural history. (photos above and below as well.)

so i looked at the scenery, she read her magazine

jefferson memorial

coming down the mountain. ty, kurt, teddy.

sup, tj?

holy fount.

and the moon rose over an open field...
"out of the mountain of despair
a stone of hope."
weeping with gratitude.
it's hard to imagine how solemn these monuments are until you're face to face with them.

i'm such a yokel, i didn't know the cherry blossoms were a "thing," but it is. people come from all over for the festival. 

the cherry trees were a gift from a mayor in japan about 100 years ago. that ups the coolness level for me, gifted wizened pink trees.

national holocaust museum. picture courtesy of here

national holocuast museum.
i held tight to tyler's hand as we walked in.
i'm already crying.
i am
to the grief.
i am
exposing myself
to the
and pain.
there is so
that is ugly.
and beautiful.

a generation lost.
i'll never be the same.

"kathy, i'm lost," i said, though i knew she was sleeping...
the old post office tower. i'm tami's numba one fan. she is the goddess of kindness and non-judgement. i mean, ms. krazy married her only son, she has every right to raise her eyebrows at me ...but she never does. i wish everyone could have a mother in law like this: the world would be a better place. 

i'm empty and aching and i don't know why...

letter to the smithsonian-
i was looking for 
the puffy shirt from seinfeld,
instead i saw
the birth of the car
and the counter
from woolworths 
four black youth
sat in abused silence,
and from
this gravity of action...
birthing justice.

ahhhh, my mothers.
counting the cars on the new jersey turnpike...
julia child's kitchen

the most amazing exhibit on food in america.
they've all gone to look for america.

occoquan museum, lacy knots from family member snippets of hair. i should do this.

occoquan bay.
historic occoquan: 
i could live here, i really could.
it reminds me of placerville.
there's the locals,
the young servers in the hip
the free admission museum that used to be a mill or
a general
or whatnot,
stoney threshold screaming

all gone to look for america

blue jay (first time EVER!!)
snapping turtle
snake snake
these are the woods.
it is "wooded."
not forests,
not tall stands of pines bursting
from granite beds,
streaking the mountains dark
in wind ravaged, slightly arid, alpine
climes. micro-climates between the rocks
 and the 
shrubs and the trees.
(i'm thinking of the sierra nevada here.)
these woods stretch on,
over the gradual rise and fall of the gentle land,
roots entwined,
like one heaving
breathing organism.

all gone to look for america

it's late.
waxing gibbous out the plane window,
illuminating what appears to be a massive
gray and white blanket,
crumpled into
the shape of a mountain range.
is that you,
mt whitney?

i've gone to look for america,\i'm looking.
i'm home.
i've come home.

many grateful thanks to tami and kurt for making all of this introspection and reflection and adventuring possible.