Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Night on the River

Allen and I spent last night in the boat on the Maumee River. We started at Rossford in the late afternoon and then putted up to Toledo. After my Ohio River Journey last year I have a new appreciation for all rivers. The BGSU Monitor recently did a piece about me. If you're interested, you can find it here. In the article I talk a little bit about the river and what it means to me.

I took a few photos. On the top is a photo of graffiti. I've always been intrigued by graffiti. I like thinking of the psychological underpinnings of these markings. Last year on the Ohio, Allen and I took the tour of the West Virginia State Penn., and my favorite part was looking at the graffiti on the cell walls. Graffiti is a way of establishing one's existence and perhaps one's mortality. In a sense, it's not so different from what I do when I write poems or stories. Graffiti can sometimes be quite beautiful. Every time I pass the "East Side" graffiti, I enjoy looking at the zany lettering. It seems so "sixties." It's true that graffiti often gets a bad name because of gangs and because it sometimes defaces truly beautiful things. However, I think the impulse to create it is here to stay, and I wouldn't want it to be everywhere prohibited.

The afternoon was beautiful with temperatures in the low eighties and low humidity. We spent a cool night, covering ourselves with our sleeping bags. In the second photo, you see our Boston Terrier, Buddha, riding on Allen's lap. I love taking photos of this dog. He is so sweet and well-behaved. Behind Buddha is Toledo. I took a Toledo sunset photo that turned out quite well and I almost posted it, but then it seemed too predictable, a sunset. I could picture people glancing at it and saying, "Oh, a sunset." Sunset photos are so prevalent that our ability to appreciate them has definitely become diminished.

We awoke this morning to light rain--this rain wasn't predicted until afternoon and we'd planned to be back home before it ever started. But there's no predicting the weather. We waited a while, watched a huge grain-laden boat pass, and watched as thin filaments of lightening streaked across the sky. Finally, fearing wind and stronger rain, we got underway. We'd planned to walk up to Big Boy's in town for a hearty breakfast, but we didn't get to, and we were too wet to stop on the way home. Now, after a long, hot bath while reading some poems by Hayden Carruth, I'm dressed and ready for that breakfast. We are practically on our way out the door now. As far as writing goes, I've been working on an older story and I think it is mostly finished. After being away from it for a good while, I realized I was trying to accomplish too much in a single story, and I streamlined it. I went through it a couple of times on the computer and then printed a hard copy. Then I hand-edited that. Next, I made the changes on the computer. Sometime later today I hope to make another hard copy for editing. I'm still not making the rounds as usual on the Internet. It seems to pull me out of my writing zone.

The next days are supposed to be rainy, but it will be cool and comfy. Nice writing weather, I think!


Cynthia said...

I love graffiti as well. One of my travelling pleasures is observing the graffiti on trains as I wait at crossings. Your trip sounds wonderful. Now stay in that writing zone.

Nelle said...

One of the things that fascinates me while visiting New York is the graffiti. Some of the artwork is amazing. My mother has a Boston Terrier pup. She lost her older Boston a few months back. She is frustrated at the energy this one has. He's a fine looking dog.

ggw07 said...

Congrats on the BGSU piece and happy sailings on the river and in the zone!

V said...

I hope you don`t mind; I`ve quoted you in my latest post.

cpc said...

Thanks for your insight on the Maumee River. If you truly enjoy grafitti, you should drive over to Cleveland sometime to the Rapid Transit Train from the Brook Park Station to Tower City. There are some amazing works of "art".

Thanks again for taking the time to post and happy traveling.

Wenda said...

I appreciated that link to the BGSU piece and learning more about you. Congratulations!



About Me

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych



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Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back