It’s a time of goodbyes. But for today, we say goodby to our old Bucko mate….
So Long – C. Fox Smith (1924)
All coiled down, an’ it’s time for us to go;
Every sail’s furled in a neat harbour stow;
Another ship for me, an’ for her another crew –
An’ so long, sailorman … good luck to you!
Fun an’ friends I wish you till the pay’s all gone –
Pleasure when you spend it an’ content when it’s done –
An’ a chest that’s not empty when you go back to sea,
An’ a better ship than she’s been, an’ a truer pal than me.
A good berth I wish you, in a ship that’s well found,
With a decent crowd forrard, an’ her gear all sound,
Spars a man can trust to when it’s comin’ on to blow,
An’ no bosun bawlin’ when it’s your watch below.
A good Trade I wish you, an’ a fair landfall,
Neither fog, nor iceberg, nor long calm, nor squall,
A pleasant port to come to, when the work’s all through –
An’ so long, sailorman … good luck to you.
Such a very long time.
This place used to be my solace. My happy place. My escape. My mental workout room. But like any home – if you don’t practice constant maintenance, it can fall into disrepair.
I think I found a family of voles living in my tag cloud. And don’t get me started on the cobwebs in the archives.
But in the past three years I have written and defended my dissertation, lost my father-in-law, father, and mother. And I found I could write about none of it.
But old habits die hard. I find myself within these virtual walls again – running my fingers over the posts and considering a new interior design.
Who knows what might happen?
A little something for the new exhibit…..
….And it’s still snowing….
Actually – I am homeward bound at the moment – somewhere just south of Alexandria on the last stretch through to Richmond. Train this time – and really, my preferred way to travel. There’s something relaxing about rail travel (though not so relaxing in the rail stations – but no matter, they are only in-between places – a means to an end). We’ve had several lovely days in New York – days that seemed to stretch well past the five we had allotted into a timelessness that is the hallmark of any really good escape.
We have begun making New York City in January something of a tradition now – in the past 3 years. It began by happenstance, in the final frantic days of the Monitor Center preparations with some filming at Martha Stewart’s studio of all places – as well as a transcendent show at the Bowery Ballroom with friends new and old. By the time we found ourselves here again the second year – it really had become a tradition, I suppose.
And so we continue it.
Many people do not understand our kind of vacation with its aimless, organic pace. We try not to travel with much of an agenda – no more than one or two set goals, and even then they are almost always malleable. We do not go with the express notion of checking off one more tourist destination or event off on our to-do list, though there are times when we accidentally log one or two. (Case in point – cold rainy day translated to random warm theatre and a lovely surprise afternoon with Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly that we never would have actually planned to do.)
We go to escape, whether it is into the warmth of a well-loved place or into the static electricity of the always awake. We go to wander through streets both familiar and unfamiliar, with the freedom to stop anywhere – for any length of time, and for any reason. To watch the people and the skies and to hear the sounds both lyrical and cacophonic. To drink in the surroundings and talk or not talk for as long as we want to.
We just go.
Well – here I am at AAM in Philadelphia and am in the midst of a technology tutorial about Google mapping. I can see that this could be awfully darn cool for my historical visualization project and I’m just wondering if my volunteers would be interested in learning this?
View trail of the monitorkitty in a larger map