Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I wish I was the moon tonight

"I would be leaving Charleston soon, I thought, leaving the city of two rivers, which had imparted a passionate sense of aesthetics within me, which had given me a love of antiquity and cloistered gardens. I would be leaving the city that taught me to fear the world." - Pat Conroy

Let me be nostalgic just one last time. It'll be back to the real world tomorrow after this long sojourn (is that contradictory? long sojourn? nah...) in Charleston where I'm sure I'll blog about everyday, asinine things (like the fact that I bought donut sticks the other day at a gas station that expired on 1/3/08, which was really quite disturbing considering the fact that most preservative-laden Little Debbie-esque snacks have a shelf life of, oh, 25 years, which means they must've been really, really old...but I ate all 600 calories of them anyway). I just realized this is my last Christmas break from school. Ever. Well unless I get a doctorate some day. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Crazy.
So I was helping my dad put the Christmas stuff away in the attic (since it's like the 14th day of Christmas) when I caught a glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, of brilliant purples and pinks out the window. And after reading, this very afternoon, in Lowcountry Living magazine an essay by Bret Lott (who used to and maybe still does live right behind my parents' house) about his favorite thing in the lowcountry--our sunsets--I reckoned (yes, reckoned) that it was too big a coincidence to pass up the opportunity to chase after one. So I hopped on my bike and pedaled like hell to the yacht club so I could get a better picture with my shitty camera but by that time the glowing garnet and wine colors had faded. (I kind of caught the last glimmer of it in the first picture above.)

Lott talked in his essay about having grown up with dramatic sunsets out West, surrounded by towering mountains or endless desert, but that the sunset over the Charleston harbor changed everything for him: "Stretched across the sky above us, and reflected in the harbor before us, was color--every natural color I knew, from the palest violet to the deepest scarlet. And color lay also in the marsh, the saw grass and salt marsh hay suddenly awash in umbers and ochres and greens as urgent and sharp as spring itself. But the strange thing--the captivating thing--was that woven through all this color was a kind of intimacy, a kind of quiet and gentle hand. ... No rugged geography, no infinite expanse of sea. No theatrics. Only the mystery of colors at once vibrant and hushed at the disappearance of the sun. " This last one I took belly-down on the dock to try and steady the camera, but I think it may be blurred because a tugboat went by and made quite a wake.

Every time I come back here I wonder why I ever leave. Someone commented the other day how people around here have a lot of pride in where they're from. True, but I think the most proud of us are those that have lived elsewhere. I think to truly appreciate it you have to be away from it for a time. The whole don't-know-what-you've-got-til-it's-gone thing, I suppose.

And so my month-long putzing around ends. Atlanta-bound tomorrow : /


Evan said...

Pat Conroy is the tits.

Beside the point said...

I'm not sure if "the tits" has a negative or positive connotation. Does this make me uncool?