Tuesday, February 12, 2008


so i moved to portland oregon from south carolina for a shift in view. i applied to graduate school and got in. that sealed the deal. there is a ton of stuff that i miss about south carolina. including the dogwoods, the heat, my kin, and words like "kin". i like it in portland and have no interest in puting a length to my stay here. i've made some friends quickly, (i joke about it being like i bought them by going to grad school) the land is breathtaking, and there is an endless amount to do even when money is scarce.
still my parents home in pickens south carolina, and mine for my first eighteen years, will always be the one against all future ones will be measured. my most formative stories come from there. what each of those stories means to me changes often but there are visceral memories that shock the shit out of me with their clarity. the creek i played in as a kid can at times seem real and like i can even hear it a little. all its bends and falls are ones i can walk along in my mind almost like you can move through google earth.
what is it that occurs when you go back to places like that? some kind of endorphin thing? like a nostalgia hormone or something? is it a comfort zone thing? familiarity?
right now i have a sick nana. that is the toughest thing for me to be so distant from. with everything else the absence is making the heart grow fonder. i'll always go back and i will always look for the rocks to be in the same place. the roads will lead to the same places and anything that has changed will undergo a thorough investigation. my stories change a little as memories blur and the stories i invent to explain the changes that occur while i'm gone will probably mix in with them.
i don't think this story is all that amazing or anything. there are tons of kids that grow up like this in the country. my parents are a little unusual for the area but other than that i was a regular dirty kid there. and is back woods south carolina really all that different than back woods Vermont or Wyoming other than different fruit trees grow there and a few variations on how you pronounce things like 'racecar'? the thing i get a little kick out of is the combinations of places i think of as homes. Pickens, Charleston, and Southeast Portland. I might just be one of a hand full of people ever with those places under their belt. Doubt that anyone can tell me if that means anything but its one of the few things that can make me feel a little special. Not in the short bus sense or the 'my president cares about me' sense but more in the vein of 'i am an artist and i am a snowflake.' But still I think Dan Attoe said it well when he wrote "You're vulnerable just like the rest of us. Get some Balls. Better get your shit together." in bright neon.

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