Posts tagged Vancouver
A few weeks ago, I had my last shifts at JOE and the Kelly Writers House; last week, I graduated from Penn; and in three weeks, I move to the Pacific Northwest.
Last night, Ben and Nolan and I drank champagne in the backyard out of mason jars; then Ben and I walked down all of campus, pointing out all the important places and ending at the Button, sitting there for a long time, thinking.
This afternoon, I’ll drive Ben to the airport and put boxes in my parents’ car. I’m selling books and coffee equipment; giving away old clothes and unused makeup; stacking books to bring with me. As Ana told Jessica, I’m kind of going just to go, to go. I do have a job, a safety-net and an assurance; for that, I’m so grateful and I’m excited. It’s true, though, that I’ve picked Vancouver as somewhere new, from-scratch, and also kind and safe. I’m excited.
This week, I reread Gilead. I couldn’t believe how much of it mattered so much to me. This book nearly created me in some ways, and so it reflects the way I think and what I believe.
All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Lamb Roast, April 2014 (taken by Janelle); Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, March 2014.
I feel a little justified or vindicated in my hobbies ’cause both my grandfathers are serious amateur photographers. It’s in my blood: trees, photographs, and cities. Last time I was in Texas, I took this picture from the pile of things to trash. My mother’s father took it, at Puget Sound in the fifties or sixties or seventies. It’s so strange: Seattle is somewhere I go and love now, and I never pictured him there, but it looks exactly like a picture I’d take.
When I got home this summer, that watercolor was on my pillow. “Oh, yes — ” my mother said, “that was at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and I kept looking at it and thinking I knew where it was, and Stacy said, ‘that’s the Spanish Steps!’ So I decided to get it for you. I hope it’s okay.” She didn’t know I’d spent several nights and afternoons on the Steps, thinking and praying and watching. I love the Spagna metro escalator very much.
So those two prints sit by each other on my bookshelf and desk, tying up Houston and Rome and Seattle.
Today Sarah quoted Sheila Hati at me: all of these people, she summarized, are so different and so interesting but observing them doesn’t tell me how I should be, because all their characteristics fit them so perfectly, and they are them.
I am an amalgam, too; I’m not like you. From Philadelphia nominally, but I think of myself as Texas and Minnesota and maybe Vancouver, and I am coffee in Austin and the green drives of Philadelphia and even bookstores in St. Louis and always the best at finding somewhere good to eat, drink, and read; and I am being, everywhere.
This was where Stahr had come to earth after that extraordinary illuminating flight where he saw which way we were going, and how we looked doing it, and how much of it mattered. You could say that this was where an accidental wind blew him but I don’t think so. I would rather think that in a “long shot” he saw a new way of measuring our jerky hopes and graceful rogueries and awkward sorrows, and that he came here from choice to be with us to the end.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Love of the Last Tycoon