Monday, August 15, 2005

Song of the South

Hoo boy, I am back. It's been a wild few days. We went down to Charlottesville for a wedding and a heady dose of nostalgia, and then James and I took off for our long-awaited Southern road trip: from Cville to Nashville, and then on to Oxford Mississippi, home of William Faulkner. This was a densely-packed four day period, and the theme turned out to be: People's Homes. We started out at my friends Trish and Matt's, then, consequentially, on to: Andrew Jackson's, Jack Daniel's, and Faulkner's.

It was an amazing trip but I'm afraid I can't do it justice - I didn't keep up my travel journal while we were in the thick of it, so I just have the summary notes I took after we had returned. But this trip scratched an itch I've been nursing for a long while, since I learned about Andrew Jackson in high school and suffered an instant infatuation and desire to get to the Hermitage, his house. So far, this is my first and only presidential crush.... not counting Jefferson. Or FDR. But this is getting weird.

Everything was so Southern about this trip, the way I hoped it would be. Friendliness, heat, the buzzing of insects, the smell of cedar, old, drooping trees, dilapidation. It was romantic but uncomfortably so. Faulkner's house, Rowan Oak, was a dream: less of a musem and more like someone's home. Seeing his writing room was genuinely inspiring, and seeing the origins of the world he created - a literary genesis, a Big Bang - imagining an entire mythology and landscape being spun from this house, these walls, that desk - as a reader I was inspired.

The rhythms of the trip were strange as well - driving until ten or eleven at night, staying awake until late to drink or watch old reality shows, eating a big meal at lunch and little else through the day. As always traveling with James was fantastic. It was a great trip - bigger than I thought it would be. I've been watching more than my fair share of CMT as a result, inspired by our sojourn in Nashville and the beautiful country girls we saw playing in the bars. Chely Wright, anyone?

I'm back home now and will probably head back to the city tomorrow. There is not much for me here, I'm a bit bored. Law school is seven short days away. Very excited and looking forward to writing this thing a bit more often now that summer is winding down and my real life is resuming.

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