Thursday, May 14, 2009

pitt stop.*

today we started early with a greasy breakfast near pat and al's. we got the morning bum's rush because pat had some kind of meeting and al had to go review a film.

so we did some wandering, some puttering and visited our favorite catholic supply store, sacred heart of jesus. the reverend and i are by no means denominationally religious, but that does not mean that our interest in the artifacts of faith are purely ironic (our aesthetic whims must dip into ironic territory but i enjoy reverence just as much). we always pick up amazing little handmade icons, medallions and other objects made with care, hope and supplication. and the nuns who run the shop are very nice, too. i found out on this trip that they "live by providence" - a way of life that i feel half-immersed in myself most of the time. we also talked about adventure on the roads of america. apparently these ladies used to travel the countryside breaking down in every state only to "meet the nicest people and see the nicest things" during their car's collapse. kindreds for sure, in spite of other unshared ground.

speaking of the road, it had come time to hit it again. smell ya later, yinzers.

the jumbled city gave way to countryside as we decided to take our time and save our tolls for a while on the lincoln highway. we passed some familiar sights (the nudie bar was about to open but the sky was turning and we felt chicken) and one who's geography i had forgotten. why are our trips through pennsylvania always full of such contradictions?

i had seen that sign for the memorial before but had never followed it. the flight 93 memorial is an interesting example of collectivism in practice. a display of feelings that are personal, political, nationalist, self-indulgent, small, empassioned and/or confusing.

what could the significance of a hair elastic be? or a penny? or an elvis wallet? are these offerings motivated by actual connections with the event or object? or did the donor just feel the need to leave something? was it due to a swell of emotion or perceived social pressure? who knew the dead and who did not? the visual display is striking, important, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered. maybe that's appropriate.

we moved on, headed for our adoptive family in philadelphia - two pals, three kids (also pals), and five dogs were there to greet us with open arms, warm dinner and plenty of yapping. this was not a confusing experience by any stretch. tomorrow we make things, saturday we sell things and the rest is still falling into place. it's good to be home.

*title pun by aitor.

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