Hmmm. The world grows increasingly smaller. Caro and I are watching Athens, Georgia Inside Out. She was talking about Flat Duo Jets and Dexter whathisname and suddenly it dawned on me that Dexter once dated my friend Victoria back when we were at VCU in Richmond. Huh – I remember him vaguely maybe meeting a couple of times, and Vicky and I still stay in occasional touch. Something is stuck in my head that he was a kind of a jerk. Small town rock and roll. Cutting edge, yes, small town, too. I watch these sort of things (this movie is from 1987) and can’t help but wondering how many people have died. Funny, Caro just pointed out one of them now. It feels nostalgic. I’m losing it a bit tonight, I feel like I’m holding onto the past by a small black thread stretched thin. It’s in a moment, snaps and then is lost. I can’t quite get some of those feelings from back then back. Funny, that I quoted R.E.M. earlier today. Funny, but only so much.

I’ve moved out of my Los Feliz apartment and into Caro’s house.

It was a little sad to let that place go. There is something even a little more melancholy in leaving an apartment, I think, than a house where perhaps you had the time to make your mark on it and its landscape. Seven years later though, pretty much longer than I’ve lived in any one place my whole life, I turn to lock the door behind me, and realize that I’m leaving my apartment in exactly the same shape I found it – clean wood and white walls. A paradox considering how much I’ve changed since the windy January day that I moved in. I remember that day, standing at the windows, watching the palm trees bend deeply and the dead fronds blowing off and being amazed that the seemingly too slight trunks could withstand being bent to the degree they were. And then just being amazed that I could see palm trees. Palm trees! I had never really been in a city with palm trees before, and to this day they remain a source of fascination for me. So graceful, strong.

I guess we all endure the forces of nature as we age and change along with the rest of the world. I think what has changed most in me is the acceptance of change itself. I’ve grown, like a slow growing palm, almost unnoticeably, but with certainty. And I’m looking forward to my future with Caro, more than anything I’ve looked forward to in my life.

So I took that final look and the photo above and thought about change. And then I remembered a song by R.E.M. that was always one of my favorites. “I Believe” from Life’s Rich Pageant:

When I was young and full of grace
and spirited–a rattlesnake.
When I was young and fever fell
My spirit, I will not tell
You’re on your honor not to tell

I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract
Explain the change, the difference between
What you want and what you need, there’s the key,
Your adventure for today, what do you do
Between the horns of the day?

I believe my shirt is wearing thin
And change is what I believe in
. . .

Love Connection: Classic Tivo Screenshot #2

Mmmmkkkaaay. Back in North Cackilacky we used to call this hair feature “The Carolina Claw.” Just happened to catch this while flipping channels past The Game Show Network. There were lots of reasons to love the 80s. This was not one of them.

Last night we went to the arts center where we’re having our wedding reception, Lyndon House, for an art opening (yeah, I know, go figure). One of the two artists exhibiting, Michael Lachowski, is a good friend of Caro; she has 3 of his large format drawings hanging in the house. It’s great to be able to meet an artist whose work you have and like. While he does photography, he was telling us he likes to do the drawings more, mainly because he gets bent out of shape (my words, not his) at the expense and time consuming process of getting photography printed and prepped for display. His latest photographs, in a series called “Marshmallow,” are being printed on vinyl sign material, with brass hanging grommets and all. Didn’t get a full explanation on why he chose that format, though, but I am guessing it has something to do with ease-of-use.

Also at the center was an exhibit, “Headspinning: Inspiration from the Canvas to the Album Cover” The exhibition is a co-operative presentation with Nuci’s Space, a support organization for musicians in Athens. Included are works of fine art presented alongside music album visuals that either incorporated aspects of the artwork or were inspired by it. My favorite piece was a photograph of Jefferson Holt, R.E.M.’s former manager, underneath a train trestle. The Sandra Lee Phipps photo was later used (in a cropped format without Jefferson) on the back of the album jacket of my favorite R.E.M. record, Murmur. Also, the guy who is hopefully going to be shooting our wedding had a photo that was used on the cover of a 1996 Bad Religion album.

Nuci’s Space is a non-profit founded by the family of a young musician, Nuci Phillips, who suffered from depression throughout his youth and later took his own life. It is a resource/support center dedicated to promoting the emotional, physical and occupational well-being of the music community.

Heading back to the West Coast this evening. I’m already feeling homesick for the South.

I love kudzu.