Current Location: Wild Rose, Wisconsin
Since my last post, my girlfriend Riki and I drove more than a thousand miles across the country, activists challenged the Israeli flotilla surrounding Gaza, and my visa for Scotland got approved.
It’s certainly bizarre how time and space shrinks when you’re living in the woods. My family’s lake house in Wisconsin is probably the one place where I feel entirely at home. When we arrived, after two days in Riki’s Honda station wagon on the way from York, PA, I walked out onto the dock and felt choked up when I saw steam rising from the lake after the recent rain.
For the past two days we have slept and read and chatted with my dad and sister, enjoying the smells of the old cabin my great-grandfather built and that has become a ritual vacation spot for my father’s family of seven kids. It’s surreal to be here without the activity of fourteen cousins, twelve uncles and aunts, and an indefinite number of dogs, but because I’ve come to Gilbert Lake for a week or two every year of my life, being in Wisconsin always feels right.
Internet access is spotty here and the only small, old television that used to be housed in the cottage has been replaced by a few iron knickknacks. I am temporarily ridden of my addiction to checking the news. But in my news, I’ve finally received word that my UK visa was approved, and it’s already in the mail. That means I’m officially, certifiably, going to be spending the summer at Iona.
In the news of the world, I’m afraid for war in Gaza, and the New York Times tells me that Pope Benedict looked frighteningly glib while leaders in Cyprus launched a “furious broadside” against Turkey on Friday. It seems trifling, when facing the onset of collapsing foreign relations, when bills cross the Senate floor daily, to pause and think about reframing historical narrative.
But I am deeply thankful to the Internet (and the power of Google’s news alerts), because the web director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture somehow read my last post. He shared it with his staff and the museum’s founding director. Framing our lives within contexts, within contexts that allow everyone to have voice, changes things. It’s not as hot-botton or instantaneous as a ticker on CNN, but maybe it matters because our lives aren’t at as fast as that either. We go to a museum, we go to class, to work, leaves change, snow comes, a birthday, a dog dies, we read an email, an article, a blog.
Riki and I leave from Wisconsin on Tuesday, after we’ve swum, tire-swung, and played languorous games of mancala on the porch. I’m reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God. She’s reading Lolita. We made chicken kebabs and my sister made angel food cake. Tuesday will be my 21st birthday. It’s nice when things happen this slowly.