"In the end I've had the life I own A massive pattern of imperfections, near misses, Irreducible complications and debatable accomplishments, Which coerce each other, spiraling sideways, So that I never know which way, if any, I am advancing. It's the path a tumbling chair might make, Or cat, grace tangled by a poison lizard She once ate, who now walks as if Three-legged"--from "With Gulliver in Brooklyn", a poem by Jessica Greenbaum
Late this afternoon we drove thirty miles north to Culpepper, Virginia. We'd seen a brochure for an artist's greeting card shop in an old downtown. The drive took us into the parts in which the Piedmont has the first real hint of Blue Ridge foothills, a gorgeous, sinewy area (but not sinewy like the poems in book blurbs). The town proved quaint with lots of cool shops. I bought "thank you" notes with artistic patterns from the shop, as lately I notice that my notes tend to be on-line and gushy. I am ready to key back into my natural restraint, perhaps in pen and ink. I don't mind being open, but sometimes attempts to be open miss the mark. Pen and ink so often hits the mark.
We visited this wonderful shop called "aboriginal art" or some such, which was like a really cool Pier One,back when Pier One was cool. I got an Indonesian percussion instrument, which looked like a rain stick but sounded like maracas. I got two reindeer bells, on a festive holiday horse backing. I also got a CD of Italian ambient jazz on a sampler, for the drive back to DC tomorrow afternoon.
We had dinner at a restaurant with white tableclothes. The food was excellent. I had a sage grilled chicken presented over simple lettuce. My wife had a house-smoked cold trout. We reviewed the signs explaining how the Union Army camped 100,000 folks there there one winter, prior to the battles whose fields we visited earlier this week. It was hard to imagine those numbers--and I wonder about a misprint.
After dinner we drove back to the lake. We stood and talked on the boat dock while I used the last of the chartreuse worms to fish in the coming water rolling in the descending dusk. It was so pleasant to chat and reel in fish. I caught nine, ranging from tiny to "keeper", including striped bass, crappie, bluegill, perch, bass and catfish. It was quite a potpourri. I threw them back.
We watched the ducks. We microwaved popcorn. We watched the television, and now enjoy our evening.
This has been a good trip, take it all around. We missed so many things to do, but we had fun.