". . . 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, July 5, 2009

Some July 4th

We are still immersed in the Moving Office Project so we had to take a rain check on eating and socializing with our friends.

Nevertheless I decided to make potato salad. There was some pulled pork in the freezer from a pork butt. Local beefsteak tomatoes, etc. The sun was shining! It was like a summer day! It needed to be observed somehow, though the true meaning of the 4th felt as far away as it ever has in these last decades ....

Also the city moved the annual fireworks display back down on My River from the East River for the first time since 9/11. Because of the River Walk promenades etc., it was a good place for someone like me who can't stand so well and wait for the display -- many railings to lean on, benches to sit upon etc. So maybe for the first time since living here, at least the first time since early on living here, we participated in the annual city 4th of July Fireworks Display.

It was a perfect night for fireworks. The sky over New Jersey provided its own fireworks display of spectacular cloud formations and rapidly deepening colors. The wind and the nautical traffic kept the Hudson at high chop, providing marvelous light-on-water effects. The ever growing parade of people, babies and dogs, the endless variety of languages were entertaining all by themselves. The cops collecting Big Overtime were in a good mood and having a great time photographing each other with their phones. The wind was a little strong, but though we got cool, it wasn't to the point of discomfort. The wind also carried the smoke away from us. Then we came home and continued our current Read Aloud Project, which is two books: Homage to Catalonia and Walter Benjamin's Illuminations: Essays and Reflections. They are both from the 1930's; they lluminatinate each other, their time and ours.

Ah, this is how a real photographer does it. The NY Times just put this up. As you see, this is at 34th St. We were far below that, just above Houston.

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