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Posts tagged Seattle

Presence.

I believe one of the most basic acts of love is just to keep showing up, always and unconditionally. Sometimes the best you can do is to let somebody know they are loved, not alone, and not forgotten.
— Joe Callander in the NYT

A couple sentences which struck me today. I believe vehemently that they’re true.

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Ex-pat.



Writing to you on the Fourth of July from Vancouver, Canada — for yes, dear reader, I’ve moved. I packed two bags and moved with them across the continent, switching coasts and countries, and I didn’t even bring a suitcase. (The three boxes of books arrive next week.)

I haven’t much to say, much to share. My job has me thinking and writing all day, so my brain craves fiction — an unfamiliar feeling. I reread The End of the Affair on the plane, and then, my hunt for more Graham Greene foiled by the small bookstore down the street, J. G. Ballard’s Empire of the Sun (not my favorite), then — triumph! — Greene in The Tenth Man, and now, I’m beginning Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago. I adore it already, and it made me a friend in the chain-bookstore cashier, too.

 
Signing off early: it’s been a busy three weeks. More soon — don’t I always say that? Why do you stick around?

 

P.S. Photos recycled, which I believe is a terrible travesty, but my parents haven’t seen them, at least. Vancouver x2, and a weekend whirl in Seattle. beautiful.

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Place.



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.

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Coniferred.



This week, Ada & co. worked to initiate me into the Pacific Northwest life. We kayaked, canoed, hiked a mountain (the Grouse Grind), and went to MEC for a proper rain jacket. There, people swarmed the aisles on a Sunday afternoon, poring over athleticwear and tugging at backpacks that reached high ceilings in rows and rows and rows. It’s another world, I thought.

We climbed the mountain and walked a little longer up paths to find the bears and we came up a little ridge and there was a grizzly bear right there, just on the other side of a little fence. We watched him in the water awhile as he tossed and pawed at a stick and lolled in the water. I turned back to stare again at the walls and walls of trees.

I love these trees. Ada laughs at me: “on the gondola ride down, she told Andrew, “I was looking at the city, which is my favorite view, but Allison kept turning me round to see the trees. The trees!”

When I was seventeen, I went to Seattle for three weeks — my second time there and my first time away and by myself for so long. As we left the airport for Kirkland, I stared round the highway, thinking, these trees. How did I not notice them last time? This is somewhere different.

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Caddy.

0119sumeds-5

I miss summer.

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