“Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good…
Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.”
- Wallace Stevens, The final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour
I’m back in So Cal after about a week on the east coast. I arrived in time to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in Washington DC. Déjà vu, Momma.
Although I’ve lived here for most of my life, I grew up in suburban Washington. We used to walk around the reflecting basin at this time of year. We’d pass people with cameras, framing a shot that took in cherry blossom boughs overhead with the Jefferson Memorial in the background. According to a statistic I made up for this post, 93.8% of tourists with cameras take the same picture. As we passed them, we would smugly mutter, “Been done.” So my cliché-compliant pictures serve to remind me that I was a smartass once. I’m a much better person these days – much wiser, much more modest, and barely any older.
I spent a few nights with family, then a long day walking around the Mall, stopping in museums like the Freer Gallery where one sister’s inner goddess was revealed. I’m sure that’s never been done, because nobody else ever goofs off in museums. According to the results in an exhaustive a Pew Research Study of museum visitors I made up for this post, nobody else in the history of the Freer Gallery has ever taken this shot.
I dumbly wore new shoes for the trek around the Mall, from the Capitol Botanic Gardens where there was an amazing orchid show, to the Smithsonian, riding Metro, and limping to the “historic” Williard Hotel for cocktails. I’d forgotten how everything that stands still for more than ten minutes in Washington DC ends up with a brass plaque memorializing famous historical events. One sign said “On this spot in 1766, British forces clashed with rebel militia, who, upon realizing they were outnumbered 7 to 1, heroically handled the battle the way a dog handles stress: since they couldn’t win, eat the British, or roll around on the ground and tickle then, they pissed on the brick below this plaque and walked safely away.” Ok, I made that up too. But I sure enjoyed the cocktail hour seated in a nook in the lobby, watching the beautiful people without blisters on their feet stroll importantly to and fro.