Pilgrimages. For millennia, people have been compelled to undertake them. What is it about certain spots on the globe, the vibes they emit that tease, taunt and summon us humans to see them?
Yesterday, I embarked upon a pilgrimage of my own. The topless sky and temperate cold air beckoned me to take a walk to a sliver of the unknown in an otherwise familiar city. Trusty iPhone programmed, I made lazy efforts to give my trek a highbrow flair. Art deco architecture and the promise of ancient mummies diverted me. I tried to calm my overwrought yearnings by propelling my feet through a display of religious art from the Renaissance. In painting after painting, the face of Christ scolded the purpose of my quest.
I ignored it and moved along.
Outside once again, my happy feet skipped along their path of original intent. They were tired of being denied, of being forced into making extra effort to undertake activities that would cause blisters by the time they reached their unavoidable destination.
Due west, we walked, my feet and I. Due west into the blinding sun and boisterous sky. My footsteps throbbed in my head. My throat was parched. I panted and wiped dew from my brow. The unexpected appearance of a shoe warehouse, that emporium of the feet-cladding fetish, was incapable of stopping me in my tracks.
I had to see it for myself. The golden hoop at the top of a collection of bare moons. The frolicking nakedness cast in bronze in the middle of a city roundabout.
Musica, the art installation in Nashville. The statue more commonly known as HILLBILLY PORN.
All my life, I have been self conscious about my lack of photography skills. I toyed with taking a class once. When I realized I had to buy a camera that would manually adjust, meaning reading instructions and fiddling with it between every shot, I tossed that stupid idea to the four winds.
Still, I like to look at pictures and photography blogs, because they challenge me to vary the way I view the world around me. My favorite photography blog is The Quotidian Hudson, a daily look at New York’s renowned river. I read it every day, as much for the song lyrics and random stories Robert posts as for his pictures of the Hudson River. Head on over to his blog and check out some of his musings by clicking the link here.
I made the mistake of telling him that I wouldn’t have the nerve to post any pictures of the river, and he issued the Accidental Cootchie Challenge yesterday, taking pictures of the river with his iPhone like that was going to make it all okay for me.
Well, I’m a hick, and I cannot back down from a double dog dare. So, behold my attempts at river photography from Beacon, New York.
The river is out there, somewhere beyond that cage. (Really, it is a modernist-minimalist boathouse, and MTM insisted that I put it in.)
The Newburgh Beacon Bridge in the setting sun.
Squatters on the river.
My tootsies in the chilly river water. (I stepped over muck and scum for this one, and those dang rocks hurt my feet, so someone had better deem it good.)
Too Much is Just Enough: Double Dog Dares
MTM could fit an elephant in our carry-on bag. Really. He is the supreme packing machine. If I want to take ten pairs of shoes and an outfit to go with each of them for a weekend excursion, he can somehow wrangle that excess into the overhead bin. What’s even more impressive is that he can cram all my products into one zip lock plastic bag.
The man is a genius.
And, it doesn’t stop there. He packs all the vitamins, measuring the right number of pills for our various times on the road. He hides extra contact lenses in cracks and crevices for the times when I lose them, something that always happens far from home. It doesn’t satisfy him to hear me say I have my passport. I have to show it to him before he will let me leave the house. The man does not miss a thing. He’s infallible.
Yesterday, he failed to pack one tee-tiny doo-dad that is critical to my life blood: the charger for my iPad and iPhone. My iPad has become my only means of blogging these days, especially when I am roaming. Without juice to feed my gadget, my blog streak may be in jeopardy.
I know. I know. Someone is going to post a comment saying, “Well, dummy, why didn’t YOU pack your charger? MTM doesn’t have to do EVERYTHING for you, does he?”
In the packing arena, he does. If he is involved in an excursion, he will not let me touch the baggage, an act that is more utter control freak than thoughtful chivalry. I can drag out the things that go with me, but I cannot arrange them such that the suitcase will close. I never think to use the insides of shoes. I don’t stuff the outside edges where the clothes end and the walls of the bag begin. My proportions are always wonky.
At 4:30am, I was sleepwalking my way through final preparations, and my oppressed brain still thought to tell him to pull my charger out of the wall socket. I saw him do it. I know it wasn’t a sick, twisted dream. Still, it isn’t anywhere. It’s going to take supreme talent to pound out blog posts before my batteries run out of juice.
Can I do it?
Too Much is Just Enough: Gadget Chargers. EVERYWHERE.
Yesterday, I told the story of my Dad's role in rescuing Charlayne Hunter-Gault from the race riots at the University of Georgia in 1961. And, what do you know! Dad decided to get talkative about the whole thing and tell the story for MTM. Because he doesn't really know what sort of contraption my iPhone is, he didn't realize that I recorded him.
You wanted to meet my Dad. Here’s Roy. In his own words.
Too Much is Just Enough: Getting Things Straight from the Horse’s Mouth