Saturday, November 16, 2013


I think I may be recovering from Stendahl syndrome. I'm so relieved. I don't feel overwhelmed or unnecessarily tender. I slept hard last night and the night before, an indication that I'm more relaxed. Also, and this belongs in the category of you-can't-make-up-this-stuff, the leaves suddenly - overnight - became more dull. It was subtle, but I noticed. I wondered if it might just be me thinking they had turned the corner, but some friends and neighbors noticed the same thing. It was a sudden turn away from drop dead glorious to a bit muted.

That the leaves turned the same day I started feeling normal is righteous timing. The landscape here and me? We're like this (presses fingers together). I'm a part of the landscape.

Today dawned gloomy and rainy. They say we're in for a few days of gloom. That should help clear the last bits of the Stendahl left in my system. I am grateful.

I feel free, at last, to think about something other than beauty and love and the ancestors. It was great, but onwards and upwards.

Today I'm thinking about Thanksgiving in Oregon. I'm going to actually get on an airplane, during the holidays, in order to sit at table with my sister and some of her extended family. We're going up to the mountains to stay at a cabin so there will be snow! There will be good food, sitting around the fireplace, board games. There will be laughing, and maybe some drama (a part of the feast of abundance). We will drink red wine and toast all the things we're grateful for.

Last year, I spent Thanksgiving on my own. I walked around and took pictures in the very quiet city, had a nice meal. It was ok but this year I want to celebrate the feast as the ritual is meant to be - with a critical mass of family and all the abundance that attends such a gathering. I am so looking forward to every part of it except for the airport/airplane segments.

I was thinking about how the Melikiers got around, on foot, horseback, by car, too - after they were invented - but my guess is that there weren't a lot of cars in Vzysgordek, even in 1941 when the town was destroyed and everyone was killed. Can't imagine a rush hour in Vzsgordek, or a traffic jam. Can you?

Given how convenient it is to step on a plane, then, a few hours later step off the plane 3,000 miles away, why do I complain about the discomfort? It's the marketing, probably - the way you're supposed to think it's luxurious when really they're packing most of the passengers into a pathetically tight space. They should be honest. United Airlines: Unless you fly business class, your journey will be a bitch, but we'll get you there in one piece. That should be the tag line.

It's so worth the horrible airport/airplane experience to get out of town, to spend a good chunk of time with my sister and her family. I can't wait!


Tom said...

Flying is such a rarity that it still catches my imagination. Until the discomfort and stress involved kills the experience. Shouldn't it be fun? Ack!

ellen abbott said...

I was very reluctant to travel this summer. Hadn't been on an airplane since 2008. But I'm glad I overcame it cause I had a great time. The family is coming here for Thanksgiving. The only holiday we all participate in. Grandkids will stay through the weekend. No burst of color here but the leaves are finally being shed.

Pam said...

Down at the bottom of the world, and in the Asiatic region, it takes Australians so long to fly anywhere like England (20 hours) and usually in cramped conditions.
Our capital city of Perth in Western Australia is isolated from everything!- even the east coast of Australia.
Catching up with friends or relatives great distances away make the experiences all the more exciting for all of us - no matter where we are - Thanksgiving must be so special for you over there.
We've all been bought up on Thanksgiving movies over here, and history aside, it seems like a double Christmas to the uninitiated!..and in snow? That's just so foreign - our turkeys are consumed at the height of a festive summer.
Looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

Reya Mellicker said...

I've always wondered how - or if - Thanksgiving translated to places south of the equator. It is a harvest feast. Does it work? I can't imagine turkey during the summer.