Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunshine, moonshine, metashine

Today was a BIG day. I'll start with last night: I pulled my first three sheets of paper here (I gave up on doing milkweed first and just mixed up some abaca half-stuff. I dried one sheet in the ancient drymount press here, and it's not pretty. This press isn't built for what I'm doing and smells dangerous. The paper got stained, is not all dry, and is not what I'm used to with abaca, b/c it was barely beaten: five minutes w/an industrial mixer. I'm used to 45 minutes in a hollander beater as a bare MINIMUM. I won't be making thin, transparent sheets here, for sure).

The full moon rose. Shawn and I went to the Platte River and he went in (it's very shallow; a ribbon river). I did some yoga on the sand. We parked where it said "NO PARKING." We went to Grand Island to see "Little Miss Sunshine" - the only two people in the theatre. They didn't even roll credits for us. But we loved it and it was great timing. Shawn pulled out of the parking space into the empty lot, yelled "open road!" and got out of the car. He made ME get in the driver's seat and said it was the perfect time for me to learn how to drive (I've never touched a stick shift. I grew up w/my dad getting frustrated trying to teach my mom how to drive one, giving up, and saying that women weren't smart enough to do it. I concluded that I wasn't smart enough and subsequently had no confidence driving, period. I'm better now, but still skittish about driving. Jersey whacked it all out of me when I lived there, but that was six years ago). I was terrified, yet it did feel like the perfect time, esp after seeing a movie w/a VW bus, which is what Shawn drives. I did okay. It's a lot of work. The clutch nearly took my pants off. Why do I get the feeling that manual transmissions were designed by people with long legs?

Today, I got up after listening to my alarm for a few minutes, got really into my yoga, and then scampered to the house a little past 9am, fearing I was late for the great walk. Shawn was still sleeping in his car. So I wasn't late. Chela & Shawn had decided to walk to Central City, and I agreed to go, as long as we ate at the waffle house once we got there. Central City is about 12 miles away. We walked on the railroad tracks (almost all of it was torn up) the entire time and saw horses, grain elevators, bluffs, tons of plants that we couldn't identify but wished we could, track remains, hay, boys tearing up and down the fields in some unidentified vehicle, the one street of Marquette, soybeans spilled on the ground, playgrounds (I swung on the swings, my hips too wide for the seat, thinking about elementary school), cows, waterfront property, dogs, the wide Platte, farm buildings, everything. I loved the red brick-colored rocks and the sounds of the spikes thrown on top of more spikes and rails (this was a game I played w/myself). I felt like I understood why people hiked, feeling the comfort of having one person ahead and one behind, safe but also alone. Occasionally, Shawn would disappear off the trail and I'd freak out, but then he'd come back out again. Chela kept us alive w/roasted soy nuts and candied ginger. We broke the law by walking on the very long bridge across the river.

The last stretch through the cornfields almost killed me, and then the overgrown tracks that weren't pulled up yet with bramble and burrs galore. But then we finally got to downtown Central City at 2:30pm, to find that the waffle house had closed at 2pm. I sat on the sidewalk right in front of it, so sad. We ended up at Wendy's, and then walked to Highway 14 to try and hitch a ride. After a while, a cop w/an unlit cigarette hanging out of his mouth pulled over to tell us that hitchhiking in the state of Nebraska is illegal. We walked back to the corner gas station and asked people who were pulling up there, but no one was going in our direction. I ate three bags of awful junk food b/c I hadn't let myself have a bacon cheeseburger at Wendy's, felt ill, and then we walked back out onto the street again. Chela saved us again by getting a ride w/someone she had just met recently, who took us all the way to Art Farm. It was the most luxurious 10-minute ride I've ever had, in the back of a clean Cadillac. As tired and shower-needy as I was, I decided to sit down in the farmhouse for a while and play Franck, Kreisler, and Bach, before coming home.

Mom said, "you must be totally skinny now: 12 miles! Your stomach must have dropped off of you!" Ha. I didn't tell her about the ham & cheese sandwich, fries, lemonade, chocolate frosty, fudge-covered cookies, pretzel/cheese snacks, Take 5 bar, and orange juice. My stomach looked just like Olive's. Nebraska is everything I thought it might be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

happy happy happy ahppy birthday birthday birthday birthday. oopppss one more week!!

we went to the fort worth community arts center and were dreaming that your art was up in there. it was your style kind of art. you'd like it there. that have this entire section of fort worth like a huge area that is all museums and such. it is good but we didn't get to walk around. if you come to see us we'll go there. there is even a cow girl museum. ridem horsie! :)