Sunday, October 17, 2004


The students are gone and we're in Newton, Massachusetts, my childhood home. It's colder here, though it's probably colder everywhere now. Yellow leaves bigger than my spread hand miss me when I step out onto the back stoop, but only by an inch or two. In the corner of my eye they look like shirts flapping in the wind on a laundry line -- a funny association, since in Newton people don't hang their laundry outside.

The house was full yesterday, but my brother Jesse and Jasmine, his long-time girlfriend, had to leave early this morning; up-and-coming New York artists with wage-slave weekday jobs stretching canvas and constructing artifacts for the more-famous but still obscure, they needed a day of studio time. Now the household is still bigger than before, with great-uncle-and-aunt Elmer and Doris sharing bathroom and kitchen table with mom and dad, Willow and Darcie and me for the rest of the weekend, but it seems much emptier somehow. Also, with Jesse and Jasmine on the road for the Big Apple, the computer room isn't anyone's bedroom anymore, so I can blog.

But there's too much to say to do it properly today. The way my world is -- how and who we Farbers are, and why -- has been illuminated so much in the past few days that I'm still squinting into the light, the psychadelic swirl of objects and incidences haloed and unresolved. My head swims with yesterday's Essex estuary adventure, last night's pub crawl, two nights of slow and suprisingly intellectual discussion with four generations on topics from politics to our own ancestral histories, the half-familiar pace of this half-alien homestead, the mysterious remembered dreams unique to a childhood bed. It would be too much even if I had the time, or was sure I had the time, since duration, time taken and given, is an unknown here more than anywhere, and always has been.

And though the way time gets portioned out here at "home" is never certain, I know that this day is too soonish interrupted for a real session trying to make sense of newly learned and experienced past and present. In a few minutes or hours we're off to the local fall festival, a hopeful jaunt mostly for Willow, an outdoor adventure with pony rides and pumpkin carving contests among the bright reds, oranges, and yellows of this once-home community. To stay home and log the days behind and ahead would be to miss the rest of it, put a premature end to the gathering of history, like stopping the world in a photographic lens and, in doing so, sacrifice the experience itself.

If I've learned anything on my own about this universe, it is that the camera must be kept away for as long as one can, experiences allowed to simply be. This blog-as-camera is too precious to cheat with halfthoughts; this life too scarcely lived to needy to cheat by blogging it premature. For a while, at least, the full history will have to wait.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:34 PM |

Joshua! Please! Contact me!!!

you have my cell phone number. please use it. please. Otherwise I might not make it to NMH.

Well that was...jarring. The comment, not the post. Good post, well-said. Cheers.
I laughed at your laundry comment. I live in Newton and i have strung a line across my backyard. On it I dry my sheets and air my duvet. I'm sure that my neighbors think that I am nuts, but I don't care. Nothing smells as good.
I hope the harvest festical was good, we didn't make it over this weekend.

~jo @ countingsheep
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