Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Out of the River

    Hi. Remember me? Last you knew, I was going to spend a weekend sitting on a rock in the middle of a river listening to music with my good friends Mr. Clowncar, Lil Hux and their adorable daughters, otherwise known as “the fiancées” collectively.*

    I did sit on that rock in the middle of the river and listen to music. I also witnessed the miracle of Declan actually playing in the river. This is the boy who is allergic to all things aquatic. This is the boy who loudly accuses us of infanticide every time we put him in the bathtub. And yes, it takes two of us to keep him in there.

    I wouldn't have been more astounded if he'd walked across the river. Actually, I would have been less astounded, since walking on water wouldn't actually bring him into contact with it.

    It's a Rockyfestivus miracle!

    Here is our camping site:

    We were treated to the loveliest thunderstorms the first night. The lightning flickered behind clouds over the mountains. The thunder followed and the ground rumbled under us. Rain poured down, obscuring the sound of the river only a few yards away.

    We stayed nice and dry, except for the occasional 'plimp' of a stray drop somehow penetrating the nylon and falling on my face. It was just enough to keep me awake with my thoughts, which spun out a web of anxiety about what I forgot to pack, what I did pack that we didn't need, the boyos upcoming evaluations, their immunizations, my own college financial aid snafu, buying textbooks, whether I'm doing the right thing going back to school, the fate of the bookstore and the fate of all used booksellers and their sometimes unfortunate wives, global warming, anxiety over what little bit O has told me about Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and that scary void I need to leap over every night to get from safely awake to asleep and safely dreaming.

    And even then I woke up at one point enraged at an HR director I haven't seen in nine years. What the hell is wrong with me?

    My two favorite moments from the festival:

    There is a tightness in my chest that I'm unaware of until it loosens. My heart beats faster with anticipation at seeing the old silo on the grounds, it leaps, and settles into a slower, surer rhythm. We're here, we're here, we're here. Safe in this place where every purpose is the same, is sincere. The river is this way, the music is that way, over here there is good food, over there the trees and tents and let the wings relax a bit. Here are friends. Here is home.


    The second day. We aren't in our usual spot, but in a better one sheltered from rain and sun under the trees and within sight of the St. Vrain river. A perfect spot, a place I want to sink roots into and never leave. A man walks by under the trees, a man in dress pants, button-down shirt, a tie. He's carrying a cello. He walks slowly, even more slowly in my memory. His chestnut hair brushes his shoulders. A woman follows him, beautiful in a cornflower-colored dress, carrying a violin. They are joined by two other performers in a circle of grass under these trees by the river. And then they play. Cellos belong outdoors with dappled light playing them as they play. I can't quite get across how beautiful these players were, all dressed up under the trees.

    *at least until we figure out which daughter of theirs is marrying which son of ours, and then another arrangement must be made with DMG...

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    19 people left me a love letter:

    Anonymous Rudi wrote in a love letter...

    Ahhh. I feel better now.

    I missed your presence.

    I need a trip out to the woods.

    8:45 AM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    It is so great that you guys got out (together) and enjoyed each other and your beautiful surroundings.

    Beautiful writing. I can hear the roar of the river.

    Miss you too, Pants!

    8:48 AM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger ms chica wrote in a love letter...

    Curly hair and boy dirt! There's nothing like it.

    "and that scary void I need to leap over every night to get from safely awake to asleep and safely dreaming.

    I know about that void. Some nights it stretches like the Grand canyon, but then there are the other nights, when it's as effortless as stepping over a threshold.

    If you'll excuse me, I think I want to see if I can find the guy with cello, I bet he has candy in his pocket.

    3:05 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger Mother of Invention wrote in a love letter...

    Beautiful post, Nancy.
    What a gorgeous river and cliff! The whole scene that I could easily get into. We'll be going to log cabins in the bush on a swift water river that many canoe, this time next week. I love the quiet and simplicity you speak know where everything is..nothing's too expansive and you have a narrower focus than usual that allows you to feel safe and relaxed. After a week of that, you tend to get chilled out totally and wonder if you can come back to reality. You flirt with the dream of giving up your present life to retreat into that type of lifestyle...but of course you never really do. What must it be like without the other pressures oppressing you? In your next life, you swear you're going to do it!

    I love when your biggest decisions all day are like.what to have for lunch and when to go out in the canoe?

    And you had the added bonus of great music! Beauty!

    3:33 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    Nice post. Good to experience more bloggy goodness!

    My favorite moment may have been seeing D and KK whispering to each other, then giggling, then whispering some more, then giggling some more, for like an hour.

    The Art Nazi lady at the children's tent was a high point too (No glitter for you! One year!).

    Musically, the high point was probably the Sam Bush/David Grisman jam. And that 15 year old mandolin prodigy chick.

    6:47 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    Welcome back! We missed you too! And excellent post, as always!

    8:00 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    As I was reminded during my last panic attack -- one day at a time. Worry about the textbooks later. And, um, don't read The Road right now. Really. Just don't. It might feel too close to potentially true.

    Buy yourself a bouquet of pencils and breathe in their back-to-school goodness!

    9:14 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    Yeah, I think I remember you...

    Your the one writing about God and birds....

    11:42 PM, August 09, 2007  
    Blogger Lynn wrote in a love letter...

    It sounded idyllic. Glad that you are back.

    12:12 AM, August 10, 2007  
    Anonymous declan wrote in a love letter...

    That was not me frolicking in the water, but an evil alien clone who sent me to the 23rd dimension and took my place.

    Luckily, the 23rd dimension has Wifi.

    Also, I learned how to read and write. Cool, huh?

    12:16 PM, August 10, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    I'm so glad we're back! I've missed you. The vacation sounds like the perfect counterpoint to the previous summer travel. I found a mermaid in the lake for you. She blew me a kiss. Did you happen across any woodland fairy?

    1:18 PM, August 10, 2007  
    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy! I have missed you. Music is always best outdoors, methinks.

    Send me an e-mail with your address. I have something you need to have.

    8:47 PM, August 10, 2007  
    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    What, no hot air balloons?

    1:24 PM, August 11, 2007  
    Blogger Cheesy wrote in a love letter...

    Welcome back sweet thang... You gave me a gift this bright Sunday morning......

    I miss the sound of my baby brother practicing his cello in the yard...mmm warm thoughts~

    10:21 AM, August 12, 2007  
    Blogger Princess in Galoshes wrote in a love letter...

    I will admit, I have never seen nor heard cellos while camping, but it is now on my to-do list, because it sounds so lovely!

    Where along the St. Vrain river were you??

    12:54 PM, August 13, 2007  
    Blogger liv wrote in a love letter...

    Just wait till the next liv out west adventure....oh, yeah, baby, the party train..errr..plane arrives at least twice a year, and it's big fun.

    maybe not Rocky Mtn Festivus fun, but it's pretty fun, kind of...

    11:24 PM, August 13, 2007  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    Ah, just got back. How I missed reading you. I'll be a while catching up. Hey, I have a cello and violins on my CD! I share your love for such things.

    6:41 AM, August 14, 2007  
    Blogger Esereth wrote in a love letter...

    Wow. You just showed me a scene from the life I'm struggling to obtain. Even the part where I'm a slender red head in a pretty dress kneeling with my child.

    12:01 PM, August 15, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Thanks, Rudi. Everybody needs a trip out to the woods.

    It was gorgeous, Schmoop. I miss you too!

    He didn't NEED to have candy in his pocket, Chica. ;-)

    MOI, I couldn't have said it better. Yes, exactly.

    When do we plan the wedding, Clowncar? :-) Yeah! The Nazi Art Lady! Look around, honey - this crowd is not hostile to glitter. Now stop harshing my mellow and let the nice little boys and girls play with all the fucking glitter they want!!!!!

    Thanks, Ir!!

    I just bought my blank notebooks, Amusing. My favorite thing in the world is a blank notebook. Congrats on the A! (There's NO WAY I'm reading The Road. Ever.)

    ...and bloodthirsty angels and misfit teenagers and exploding Marilyn Monroes and Anton LeVey's Hellish mansion and quantum mechanics and what that all that has to do with the first broken heart. But yeah, mostly about God and birds.

    Thanks, Lynn. It was. :-)

    Yeah, I wondered what happened, D. While you're there, wave to your Uncle Clowncar. He's suffering from cosmic toxoplasmosis inflicted by space squirrels.

    It was a nice antidote, Maggie. Did you? A distant cousin of mine. :-) No woodland fairies, but there was actually a fairy ring. I think the cello player stepped out of it...

    Thanks, Meno. :-) Yup, that other is my name.

    Nope, not here, Ir. Check out Maggie. :-)

    Oooo, Cheesy....I had a friend in college who lived above me and woke me every Sunday morning when he practiced the harp above my bedroom. I miss him.

    Princess! We were up in Lyons, on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch. I strongly suggest going up there and checking out a show. Chris Isaak's playing up there soon.

    Cool! Any chance we can meet, Liv?

    Yay Bud! I Can't WAIT to hear it. Sounds like you had a good time in NY.

    Heh. What I showed you, Es, was a still life. You didn't see the utter chaos surrounding it. Kinda like the Norman Rockwell painting of the happy family at Thanksgiving. You know the minute Norm turned his back, they were at each others' throats over the inheritance.

    3:28 PM, August 15, 2007  

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