". . . 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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Time and the Living Is Easy

97 degrees here today. Not nearly as productive today since all morning people kept coming by for this that and other, mostly dealing with the House. el V didn't even get out of here unti 11:30, and then was back-and-forth all day. Things are a bit confused with the start of the academic year, so there you are. But we have the key to the Center. And, did I mention it was 97 degrees today.

I'm in a state of happiness that can only be attained when you're starting a piece of work you've been wanting to do for a very long time and all the tools you need to do it are right at hand, and are first class tools, while you are being provided all the support in every way necessary to pull off the work.  Already I'm seeing a pattern of conflict among the writer-historians of Virginia in telling their own story, in the era I call the revisionist era, that goes from the post Civil War period all the way up to what is called the post Civil Rights era (post? after the shenanigans pulled by GB Saturday?); the poster boy for which is Woodrow Wilson. The dismantling of this revisionism only began in the last decades, though still so many adhere to the Wilsonian propaganda, if only because they learned it long ago and haven't bothered to stay au courant with what has been going on in this area for these last decades regarding Reconstruction, President Grant, Jim Crow, etc .

I cannot tell you how this feels to someone like me / us, who are always working with everything stacked against us, starting with having nowhere to do the work even, not really. And then there is the living to make while doing it. How can I describe how I'm feeling today? It's some combination of feeling all one's synapses firing in sync, on point and to the point with giddyness. Fizzy, while grounded, simultaneously.

All right. The Center shares the Custom House digs with the College's Environmental program (thus the gardens in the back). The environment people held a start-of-the-new-academic-year luncheon today. Much was left over. So one of the Center's people filled up a huge plate of the most delicious food and brought it to me here at the House. Just when I realized that breakfast at 8 this AM was 6 hours ago. To make things even more wonderful, another Center person brought us pear-apples from her orchard. Another one brought me an ENTIRE BASKET of basil, rosemary and other herbs, tomatoes and corn from her garden, which she said was infinitely superior to the Center garden's. (People here go home for lunch! When was the last time you lived somewhere that was the case?)

I don't have a blender so I don't think I can make pesto with the basil, though I DO have a lot of olive oil and parmesean, which I brought down with us from Raffetto's (est. 1905). Hmmmmm. I also have several lbs. of pasta, which I also brought down from Raffetto's.

We hooked up a printer to the New Thing. I also hooked up my dvd player to New Thing, since the television upstairs, though huge, doesn't have a usb port, and that's how I do. I suppose a dvd player can be had for the television without much cost though.

Can I, can I, sit prettier than this?

Well, there is this warning about hurricane Earl hitting at least as far up the Atlantic coast as the Carolinas by this weekend. We may forced to stay in the House by rain and wind then, accompanied by the fragrance of basil.


T. Clear said...

Rain, wind, the scent of fresh basil: sounds like a particular bit of heaven to me!

Foxessa said...

No rain here ... it's a drought, just like in NYC this summer.

Though maybe this weekend Hurricane Earl will send some up and in to us here.

In the meantime though -- 95 degrees, baby!

Love, C.

K. said...

It's September, so the heat can't last too much longer. In Texas, it usually broke (meaning, went below 90) by mid-October. It should be a little earlier than that in Maryland.

Anyone who watches Birth of a Nation and then reads Wilson's heartfelt encomiums about it knows that he was no great shakes when it came to race. I doubt he was that he was the only reformer of his day who meant reform for whites only.

Let's face it: The United States has gone through 45 years of tumult based on whites resenting that blacks now benefit from reform as well. The teabaggers would rather erase it all than have anyone other than whites included.

Foxessa said...

This is officially the hottest summer on record all up and down the Atlantic coast, and also in Chicago and other midwestern cities. Everywhere, I guess, except the more northern parts of the west coast.

All over the world too.

It started in May, at least in NYC, and is still going on.

No rain either.

Love, C.

K. said...

Seattle didn't get the memo. We've had about two weeks of anything resembling summer.

I lived in Baltimore for a couple of years. It was a long time ago and I was a kid, but I don't recall it being so murderous, at least when it came to heat.

K. said...

I just noticed your new avatar. It reminds me of Oscar Wilde on foxhunting: "The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible." Patrick MacNee delivers it on an episode of The Avengers with notable relish.

Foxessa said...

Maryland, like New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia, is home to more than one fox hunting club, which go back into the 18th century at least.

Considering the kind of life we're leading here, where we are living, it seemed appropriate. Kind of my own little historical joke.

Love, c.