". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The First Day of Spring Is Already Nine Days In the Past!

Can you believe that the first day of spring was on the 20th, a week ago Friday? The Hudson River Tide Race is my urban version of suburban relaxation in the backyard. I did my first River Walk of 2009 last Sunday. I got in the second River Walk of 2009 yesterday. Even in seven days there are high signs of seasonal progress. The rust and green haze made of swelling buds on trees and bushes was visible in long distance landscape view yesterday, whereas last Sunday it wasn't there. Last weekend, the lavender mist of pasque flowers, crocus and minature iris hadn't spread over the small brown lawns and undergrowth of the gardens facing the river side.

I walked the river all way to the bottom of the island for the first time this year, and walked back too, spying out the subtle, early signs of spring. The most blatant sign of spring is the Teal drake who chases away other drakes from the female Teal who has taken placid residence in the Koi pool of the River park. The Koi were out too, which last Sunday they still weren't. Each year they get larger. I remember when the pool was constructed, before it was stocked with the fishes. The small ones are inevitably eaten now that the local fishing fowls have discovered the pool too. The larger the survivors grow, the fewer new ones are restocked.

The non-migrating geese who wish take over the lawns of all the parks have been thwarted to a degree by a winter's tarp covering those of the River park. A flock of these geese, no doubt taking a break from wrecking planes at the Newark Airport, honked indignantly about the tarps, complaining, complaining, complaining. These geese manage to out-complain our demanding, indulged, over-weight squirrels. But yesterday's squirrels are skinny, presumably the males, out foraging for the nursing females, tucked up in the many squirrel nests still visible in the unleafed tree branches.

It started off pleasantly, this walk, but it got overcast again about a quarter along, and the wind came up. As I was on the edge of the river, the change in temperature was noticable. This walk, performed with brisk speed, for about 2 and half hours, left me so limp by the time I got home again, it felt as though I'd taken a massive dose of valium. I've never had valium in my life, though so I'm only imagining this is what it would be like.

I regret not taking the camera. But then, with the overcast the great light was gone. And anyway, with the the camera, I wouldn't have seen as much

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