Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring on I-95

Of course it has been nicer to spend three months of winter instead of two in Florida.  And as a result, I am driving north a month later and seeing Spring at various stages (spring, sprang, sprung?) along the way.  My brother-in-law asked me to notice where there were no longer new leaves bursting forth, and still just winter-grey twigs:  A born New Englander like me, he has decided to head south for the next portion of his life.  He is focusing on Charleston, South Carolina and southward, which I think is wise.  Charleston is a delightful small city but he might be happier a little further south, and where swimming beaches are a bit more close-by.  Somewhere perhaps like St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city - established in 1565.  That of course is nothing to folks from much of the rest of the world, but for us New Worlders, it's downright ancient.

At any rate, I think it was somewhere in North Carolina where things began to look less vernal.  Yes, there are forsythia and daffodils in bloom here in Woodbridge, Virginia - but the deciduous trees are still very grey; there is barely a hint of the green surge that is soon to come.
The lovely view from my hotel room.

Seeking something botanical in this evening's room is a challenge, the following is the best I could do:
Those two reddish things are leaves.  The artwork is of a type very popular these days in hotel/motel rooms and at inexpensive art emporiums.  When I was an art school student there was a "movement" involving the collaging of various elements, usually including photographs from the artist's childhood, with a nostalgic effect though of course it was "high art" so nostalgia was certainly impermissible.    In these motel pieces it has all been highly sanitized and everything has become a mush of beige that will blend inoffensively with any decor.  At any rate it does not interfere with one's sleep.

On the other hand, there is the wallpaper:  It makes me think of the short novel  (or is it a long story?), The Yellow Wallpaper, not really the sort of story one wants to be reminded of when alone in a strange room.

Unless you are me, who has packed for her reading material M.R. James's Collected Ghost Stories.  They are not all wonderful, but a few have definitely crept into the dark untended corners of my brain.  I have always enjoyed a good (usually English) ghost story, but I had not read any for years until recently, when I saw that my husband had bought this book.  He had set it down after reading only one or two stories and not having been remotely disturbed.   But then, he doesn't comprehend my visceral fear of spiders, either (large ones only, and yes, I know they're wonderful.  They are messengers of Death, though, so keep that in mind.).

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