Spraypainted Your Love On My Heart
Posted by on May 9th, 2006
Well... dear blog readers... it has been a while since I happily hopped on a train in Martinez, CA! I'm now in NYC, and despite my fatigue, I LOVE it here! The New Yorkers I've seen and interacted with over the past day and a half are lively, talkative, helpful with transit info, and of course mulitilingual and multicultural. I now understand why former (exiled) New Yorkers talk nostalgically about their city, and particularly its energy: somehow I feel lifted out of my own fatigue and small concerns walking down West 96th looking for coffee and breakfast.
Janet at Ellis Island, NYC.
I am Amtrak-weary. When I told people that John and I were taking the train cross-country, their eyes would light up and they would inevitably ask: How long does that take? Answer: a long, long time. Amtrak has no dedicated rail lines, but has to send its aging trains down the rails in between heavily loaded freight trains, and the roughness of the tracks and switches jitters right up into one's bottom and lower back. Not to discourage anyone from using our most eco-sensitive and safest method of travel, of course... Did I mention the food is pretty bad? And the train cars get really grimy after two days? Or that the sleeper compartments are claustrophobia-inducing?
Capitalism & Nationalism: NYSE.
But enough complaints. Loved seeing the country, its beauty, vastness and variety, especially the light on the northern plains, a revelation of harsh beauty. I'll catch up with my journey-blogging when I get to DC. The trip so far has been a series of private conversations: with my husband John, with my mother Georgia Walkup about Mother's Day in DC and about her grandson, my nephew, Joel going into the Marines Officer Corps, with my other nephew Russell about how he managed not to be sent to Iraq when he was called up to Camp Pendleton in 2003, and with train passengers.
One of the many Goddess figures I've encountered on my journey.
No one said, "Oh, can I come too?" when I told them about Mother's Day vigil and month in DC, but I got plenty of encouragement and approval from my sister trail travelers.
The marks of this war were faint, but still discernible, as I crossed from one state to another. In famous Powell's bookstore in Portland, I counted 117 separate titles on the 15-year-long war against Iraq in just the Military History section. That's not counting Cindy Sheehan's book, or "10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military" or...
Well, time's up on my rented computer. Talk to you later,
End the war in 06,
"Democracy isn't something you have.
It's something you DO."
-- author unknown
"Take your face out of your hands
And clear your eyes
You have a right to your dreams
And don't be denied"
-- Ben Harper, "Better Way"
from "Both Sides of the Gun" CD