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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

IMG_6851Some years ago, I got home at 4 in the morning and wondered (for at least two pages of tight handwritten text) what the other kids were doing.  Were they going to the shore?  Were any of them really in love enough to go do the things those songs were about? (Granted, it was charmingly naive of me to think that love was required to get teenagers to do that…)  But I didn’t spend nearly so much time on that kind of wondering, because most of my brain was occupied trying to splice the experience that I had: fancy dress, fancy food, elaborate setting, dancing — at first in the assigned place with my date, and then later at a much less legal setting with a friend who eventually became a splendid drag queen — with the rapturous descriptions of what THE PROM was supposed to be like.

I did not have the magical phrase “WTF?” at my disposal.  And I wasn’t angry, or desperately disappointed… I was just …bemused.

That night, I felt as if I had ticked a checkmark into a box on a form that was required for The Standard U.S. High School Experience. Pictures had been taken, and clothes had been bought/rented, makeup applied (by others, because this was still theatre)… I watched people eat very rare prime rib from each other’s plates, I endured a very long slow dance with someone who I hope has long since found a nice straight girl, etc…

In subsequent years, there have been other dances, and other occassions for fancy dress.  But even my own wedding didn’t really combine these ingredients in a way that felt like I’d had all the pieces in hand.  I could dance with the wrong person, with a somewhat not right person, I could get a decent tux, I could identify which music I liked, I could look fierce and fine, I could be with the RIGHT person, but not get all those ‘right’ details together at the same time.

And yet.

The hope of surpassing what was possible in the past, particularly in the face of things that threaten to make things worse, is always there.

So when the opportunity does, finally, come around, you get your tux and fancy dress in order, buy the bid, get the hotel room, have a sumptuous double-dating dinner, get well-wishes from the bartender….

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You see other queer couples walking through town, and everyone is smiling and waving at each other.  We see you, you see us; we’re here!  The music is loud, the lighting is dramatic, there is glitter EVERYWHERE… People are happy.  People are fabulous. Couples disco, and tango, and line dance, and kiss. Not everyone is there as a couple, but it’s a different kind of grouping or singleness than what we remember from trying to go to dances as a group, or stag, or in any unconventional configuration that would let us thread the needle of access without too much compromise.

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No compromises tonight.  No kings or queens are chosen; we each earned our crowns long before we walked through those ballroom doors.

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Dar Williams used to make regular visits to the Concerts Under the Stars; maybe she still does?  Maybe that venue is too small now.  But as the days lumber through the summer haze towards the end of August, when the spines of new books get cracked open, and new backpacks creak with the weight, I think of this particular song, and the flash of stagelight on her guitar.

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Of course, this scene is nothing like a dark humid evening in Pennsylvania!  That’s the edge of a completely different section of the country, with the unfamiliar as far as my eyes could see.  The light might be spun to gold; I don’t know.  It might as well be the Moon…

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Old Door Old Railroad Town

The warehouse has been empty so long that the floor joists have rotted…but the shell is still here, and the town seems to be gentrifying just up the block.  So maybe this will be repointed, and revived as…something other than a place for swifts and swallows to hide, in between their forays down to the waterfront to chase the mayflies and junebugs?

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Memory, enhanced

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Click for full image.  My photo, with some help from the folks at Macphun.

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Hadn’t done this in a while, and it was good to go out to sororitize with old friends and new.PolymerWorkspaceTravelEdition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much of the experimentation won’t pay off for weeks or months, but that’s okay.  It’s fun to see what other people come up with, and then consider the options at leisure.Testing-alcohol-inks-polymer

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HouseNestledInTheRocksRemarkably copter-free, too!

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PrimeHookNWR-waterclouds 001Cool breezes off the water, egrets foraging and roosting, and most of the humans are still crowding the other sections of the sandbar.  A short hike at the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge was just what we needed yesterday! [Well, that and getting fresh peaches, and looking at Victorian architecture, and that salsa-free guacamole at Agave Tequila Bar and Restaurant, and…]

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At the end of the Dike Trail, a few people seemed to be fishing, or at least scooping things out with nets, and nearby one of the boats shifting sand for the Marsh Restoration project was operating.

Anyone want to confirm the bird here as either a Least Bittern or a Kingfisher?  The former is predictable for the area, but the latter is what it looked like to us.

PrimeHookNWR-BitternOrKingfisher 003Egrets, we had a few….

PrimeHookNWR-MarshEgrets 004There were at least four species of butterflies [monarch, pipevine and black swallowtails, buckeyes], and plenty of dragonflies [including a lovely big bronze one with saddlebags], but I only got this shot of a big green dragonfly for my efforts…

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