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.