Thursday, October 20, 2005

Take me home

I miss my city. I miss the shimmering glazed goldleaf surface of Lake Union at sunset. The lofty, joint-swollen chestnut trees that line Fremont Avenue and hail down spiney seed cases onto my helmet as I slog uphill. The peaks and crags floating between every hilltop home, tinging the urban corridors with wildness, lingering in the dreams of residents who cannot settle for driving but restless walk and hike and climb and paddle to retain the memory of the mountains. I think about it every day. Whether it's raining. Whether the waves on the Sound are choppy. What the trees look like this year as the leaves drop. Who's sitting in my old chair at the coffeehouse on NE 50th Street. God, I miss it so much. Never in my life have I felt a physical yearning for a place, let alone this persistent ache.

The odd thing is that I truly enjoy living abroad – school may not be what I expected, but the people, places and experiences make it so worthwhile…but part of me is still amidst the mountains, and even the high Palouse plateaus. I even miss its flaws: Seattle’s politically na├»ve ideologues, the inept public transit system (or lack thereof), its uneasy soul-searching about what it wants to become. It’s strange, because we’re losing the sea-worn fishing boats and the dingy bowling alleys that I love – and yet, I still want to go home.

There’s a great Marc Broussard song, “Home,” which I burned as part of my Seattle Mix. It’s the best soul-funk song that I’ve ever heard about coming home after a long absence; every time it plays, I growl and howl along with the lyrics, which pick you up with a storm’s force. I guarantee you I’ll be singing it on the plane that finally brings me back for good…so, as I work tonight…

This Greyhound is delta bound, mama
Baby boy done finally found
I said this Greyhound is delta bound, mama
Baby boy done finally found his way home
Said take me home…
Straight from the water
Straight from the water, child
You don’t know nothin’ about this
Take me home
Take me home
Take me home


Timothy Colman said...

Cloudy and cool after some sunbreaks today here at home.

Good luck with your work. If you want to get a picture of NW geology, check out Good Nature Publishing (my business) PNW Map. You can remind yourself of home that is the NW.

Here are some poems for you:


It was May before my
attention came
to spring and

my word I said
to the southern slopes

missed it, it
came and went before
I got right to see:

don't worry, said the mountain,
try the later northern slopes
or if

you can climb, climb
into spring: but
said the mountain

it's not that way
with all things, some
that go are gone

A.R. Ammons

Trying to Pray

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women's hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.

James Wright


And some time make the time to drive out west
Into Country Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you'll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

Seamus Heaney

Meg said...

Dear Timothy,

Thanks so much for the poetry - I needed it tonight! Coincidentally, Seamus Heaney is one of my favorite poets. I took a class on his work at the UW (and subsequently fell ill for his visit, which figures)...since I'm so close to his home now, I'm hoping he'll come across to England.

The other poems were beautiful, as well. I will be sure to visit your site -- as soon as I get some sleep, since it's 1am over here...thanks for visiting.

Meg said...

Oops, and the weather report! Forgot to thank you for that!

Anonymous said...

Good god, Meg, it's been OVER a year, and I still miss my city and my friends there. Xmas in Seattle will feel so fulfilling, like it never has before, I promise. See you then, dearest.
-berkeley girl