". . . 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

Friday, May 13, 2011

Settling In, Back Home

We forgot the eggs and the big air tight container of cheeses on the House counter. We had loaded the frozen foods and were ready to roll, just about to do the kitchen idiot check, when M showed up to say goodbye and chatchatchat -- but we had frozen foods in the cooler, and we needed to get through the Holland Tunnel and to our block by 5 or else we'd never find a parking spot by our place -- the alternate side of the street parking turns over then, and if you get a good spot it's yours through the weekend. So we lost our focus and forgot to make the idiot check of the kitchen! We e-mailed M that when he comes to put the trash barrel back in the yard tonight he’s better do something about the eggs and the cheese. Since that was the worst that happened, that ain't bad! If we were to forget something, much better the eggs and cheese, than the local Chesapeake shrimp! Gads they are superior to that farmed stuff which is what is mostly available up here, no matter how expensive the restaurant.

Ned unpacked the car and got everything up into the apartment in about 30 – 40 minutes (I stayed with the car – this is NYC – you don’t leave a car filled with stuff unattended, no matter what – and because of my back he was determined I not carry anything.) In two hours we got most things that are going to be unpacked, unpacked. We went out and ate burritos.

Now what? Little by little, continue the culling, the repairing and re-arranging. We will try and get the new online router today – ours is about 6 years old now, and needs to be upgraded. Also, one stack of boxes goes to hisw CUNY Grad Center office, and another to Storage. I pick up the books the NYPL Humanties has pulled for my solo book project -- as opposed to our co-written The American Slave Coast. So far for May, we've got three barbeque invitations (one of them in Baltimore), a friend's book publication party and another friend's reading and signing.

But, woo, it's loud here. And Young. And WEALTHY. Only the last of three has C'town, which attracts the retirees, while the C’town youth leave until middle-age, when they come back to care for their parents and the property, and then stay, but mostly people don't rock their wealth on their clothes or with their bodies. Land, and more land, and what their houses and gardens and fields show, on maintaining their political power and water power. I rather wonder what things would look like down there if all agricultural subsidies were abolished. One has suspicions that things around there would come to look much like they did after abolition, and until around WWII. So much of Maryland's prosperity these days comes from its proximity to D.C. Yes, family ‘farms,’ but these farms are enormous. The Upper Chesapeakers always did speak of their plantations as their ‘farms,’ from the mid-eighteenth century on, and these include both Washington and Jefferson.

C'town, it was like living in fairyland or Never-Never. Now it’s only in the rear-view mirror.

So far today I've done 3 1/2 hours of clearing and cleaning, organizing and re-arranging.  Now I quit for the Back is screaming in agony.  With days more of this to do, pacing is all.


T. Clear said...

Can it really be a year already since you went south?

Welcome back to your own digs. Sounds like it's time.


Foxessa said...

Nine months, the academic year!

We are happy to be home, to still have our home, to still have good work to do, to still have reasonably good health, and to have all this together. We are very fortunate beings. We love having had the great privilege of sharing the experiences of these adventures in living Elsewheres: The Caribbean, New Orleans, now the Old, Upper South on the Chesapeake. We learn so much that can only be learned by living in a place -- getting the mud on your feet and the rain in your hair.

Love, c.