Friday, August 20, 2010

Achieving Escape Velocity



One of the most important cultural imperatives, here in the District, has to do with getting the hell outta town in August. Ask any of us; we all know how important it is.

Even though in August everything is slow, Congress is in recess and nothing much happens, getting out takes umphhh. DC has an energy, an internal vortex, centered in the Capitol rotunda, contained by the boundary stones laid by our founding brothers a couple of centuries ago, that makes escape almost impossible - or at least undesirable.

Some will disagree with me; indeed people travel in and out of the District all the time. But I'll argue that even those who live in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia, and who come and go every day from the District, have to pass through the energetic barrier. I believe that's why people drive like maniacs here. They have to get angry, they have to step on the gas with a vengeance in order to make it through the diamond-shaped wall of energy. Once inside the District, the energy of the vortex comes into play. Many people immediately get turned around; they are driving towards Maryland but believe they're headed for the other side of town. Maybe that phenomena isn't as pronounced now, due to GPS systems. I'm not sure.

I have a whole other theory about those who take the subway in and out of the city. Subterranean DC is extensive - you wouldn't believe how much stuff is down there. Subterranean DC is a different realm from the city above ground; the energy is very different down there. I could get into it, but I will spare you the details.

My point is: this city has a crazy, intense, compelling energy that makes us clench our jaws, drink too much liquor, too much coffee, think way way way too hard, work too much. In August, one way or another, we HAVE to get out of town for awhile.

My moment of escape is at hand - almost. Monday night I will head west, up into the mountains of West Virginia to spend a few days at a friend's cabin.

Last year I escaped the District early - at the end of July. This year I've waited until the last minute. I am so ready to let my jaw relax, sleep through the night, breathe easy, put my feet up, listen to the song of the woodthrush and the music of the Potomac River. Three more sleeps and I'm outta here. Yay!!!

21 comments:

NanU said...

Escaping once in a while is a great thing. Me too, I'm off on Monday for a change of scenery before everything gets all that more busy Sept 1.
Enjoy your vacation!

ellen abbott said...

A cabin in the mountains sounds heavenly. A cabin in the woods would work too. Especially one with a live creek near.

The Bug said...

I know you'll have a fabulous time. I'm a wee bit jealous - WVA really IS almost heaven in my eyes.

steven said...

reya - wickedgood photographs - oh my my!! i'm right inside the escape velocity piece and i think it can apply to almost any circle of your own creation or those created by others. the building up of energy to escape the many circles of my experiencing is incredible and i have long known - entirely wasted energy unless you think of the amazing results that usually arrive from the effort! load up with fuel!! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh. So it isn't just here? OK, that's important information.

I've never felt it so palpable as here. I guess I should have said it that way.

The Potomac is huge and soft and placid up there. We will float around in it in the heat of the afternoon, then come inside for sundowners on the screened in porch. HEAVEN!!

Sherry O'Keefe said...

i didn't know about boundary stones til i read your blog. your photography is outstanding. i'm hooked.

here, sometimes i wake to handfuls of crushed red rock left on my doorstep. something different than boundary stones.

enjoy the cabin time,

sherry

Janelle said...

sigh. jealous. am dying to escape. dying to. have FUN! x j

Cyndy said...

I love the colors and textures in that bottom photo. I guess fall is right around the corner.

I always feel the energy when I come into DC from MD. I get this feeling that I'm home and it has been that way for my entire life after living my first two years in an apartment on Connecticut Avenue. Even as a kid I felt something as I crossed the line. It's funny that I don't get that feeling at all when I'm in the Virginia section of the diamond. It must be that other side of the river phenomenom or something.

Have a wonderful vacation in WV!

Meandu said...

Yes escaping is always nice. It gives us a chance to do or see different things. I always enjoy getting away if only for a couple of days.

Linda Sue said...

You have inspired me- think I might have to get out of town!

Hecate said...

Definitely feel the energy change when I drive over the TR Bridge, the bridge w the most gradual energy transition.

I love driving into work in August; it's like being alone on the road.

Spiny Marshmallow said...

Have a great escape

The Pollinatrix said...

I may have mentioned this here before, but I have actually experienced that vortex the one time I was in DC in my early twenties. We got into town after dark, had been on the road all day and just wanted to find a bar, but we ended up going around and around in the same circle and passing the same one biker bar we finally mustered up the courage to enter after about the fifth round.

Happy escaping!

Jo Floyd Lucas said...

Your spirit is so generous. Any person who gives so consistently and abundantly as you deserves a little snippet of time to recharge the batteries.

Seems you've found the perfect spot in which to repose, filled with soothing sights and sounds and other sensory pleasures. I'm so happy to imagine you there.

Take pictures for us unfortunates who can't be with you, okay?

California Girl said...

enjoy your time away. i suppose the deep south, GA, AL, MS, LA, is hotter but, after a certain point, it doesn't matter does it?

Reya Mellicker said...

Polly I am not surprised that you felt the whirling of DC's energy. What I hear about biker bars is that they are friendly places. Who knew?

Jo wish you could join me. My friends Rod and Tom are the BEST hosts in the world. I'm going to do some cooking, some hanging out on the screened-in porch, and some floating around in the river. I plan to get some mosquito bites and maybe a slight sunburn. I can't wait!

Reya Mellicker said...

Hecate, Memorial Bridge is the most abrupt, yes? When you get to the LIncoln Memorial, the energy is like whiplash. Key Bridge is OK, 14th street is pretty good but yeah the TR bridge is the easiest.

Nancy said...

Hope you have a relaxing, jaw loosening time!

Everton Terrace said...

I wonder if there is something like that in Sedona, Az. Whenever we are up there, I always find it very hard to leave. It's not that my folks are there or the beautiful surroundings (though that plays a part for certain), it's something else - like an energy trying to keep me there. I thought it was all in my head but now you've got me wondering.

Reya Mellicker said...

Sedona has a very strong mystical energy about it, or at least that was my experience. No jaw clenching there, but there is a vibration, definitely!

Liza said...

your escape destination sounds pretty darn good Reya.
Marvelous pics!