last day of a small vacation

December 28, 2011

Day 7 on antibiotics and  a self-imposed dose of generally taking it easy.  I think the sinus infection is mostly gone.  Finally.

I’ve been reading Joan Didion’s Blue Nights. A Christmas present to myself and the second time I’ve spent then holidays reading JD write about grief. I don’t know why I tend to read heavy book over the holidays. A while back, I had a stretch of Christmases where I read Holocaust books. And there was a couple years of reading war books. Maybe I just don’t read much light fair in general. I am trying to make Blue Nights last as long as I can; it could easily be finished in on one sitting. JD is such a great writer and in this book her writing seems even more poetic and looser, in a way, than in other books of hers I’ve read. It’s really moving.

RU and I took a low key road trip on Monday down to Silver Falls. We drove back roads, which is our favorite thing to do, and on our way we made a detour to Mount Angel. First, we visited the Abbey. We got there just in time for a noon prayer service, which was perfect, both for its brevity and because it was sung. I think it was cool for RU to see these monks and think of the similarities and differences with her Buddhist monks. I’m not sure cool is the right word, but it will have to do. I forgot that there would be bowing any time we heard “Father, Son and Holy Ghost” said together. People used to do that at All Saints. In fact, I think my mom used to bow. But All Saints was very a Catholic Episcopal church. I wished I would have tracked better the short reading from the New Testament, because it felt kind of antisemitic. There was something about how the Jews tried to argue with the Christians, but the Jews were wrong and we, the good Christians, forgive the Jews for their persecution of us. I’m paraphrasing, obviously. But I did feel like cringing and then I thought of Mel Gibson, which made me want to cringe more. I also thought of this PBS documentary I watched about how Jesus became Christ. One of the things the scholars talked about  was how the texts, even the Gospels, changed over time, to turn the Jews, not the Romans, into the bad guys. I’m paraphrasing here, too. We walked around the church after the service was over and then a little around the campus after that. It is a beautiful place and really wonderful that it is open to the public.

We had some excellent, excellent Mexican back in the town of Mt. Angel. We debated trying the Gloskenspiel, to get the authentic Mt Angel-Little Germany experience, but it seemed over priced. It’s weird, but anytime I visit an “o little town of Germany” town I immediately recall the scene from Cabaret where the Nazi youth stands up in the beer garden and starts singing “Tomorrow belongs to me” and a bunch of people stand up and join him and you know things are going to be fucked. And I don’t know if RU was thinking the same thing, but as we walked down the street, she said, “I wonder if they like the gays here?” Which is always on my mind when we travel anywhere outside the I-5 corridor. My experience is gays are tolerated in lots of parts of Oregon, but not very well liked.

We made it to Silver Falls but because RU’s foot is messed up, we only took a couple of short walks and stopped to get out of the car at look out spots, which as fine, as our goal had been to get out of town and breath in nature. If you’ve not been down to Silver Falls before you should check it out. There’s a great hike around the 10 falls which I did once with Becky when she came out to visit from Indiana. It was built by the CCC, a wonderful and sad reminder of what a real government stimulus package looks like. I think we read it took something like 7 years to build the park and the workers were paid $1 a day.

Getting out of town, even only an hour and a half away, is usually a treat for me and RU. There’s a little adventure to it and usually we head to place with more nature than the places we usually go in town. And even a hike in Forest Park is not the same as a hike out on the woods an hour a way. More woods? More nature? I don’t know.




2 responses to “last day of a small vacation”

  1. RU says:

    More woods! More nature!

  2. liz says:


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