Monday, August 15, 2011

I really enjoy forgetting:

There's a part in True Stories where David Byrne, continuous driver of an incredible convertible, is reflecting on his first interactions in the fictional town of Virgil Texas. It's one of the most poignant scenes for me, where he says, "Well. I really enjoy forgetting. When I first come to a place, I notice all the little details: the way the sky looks, the color of white paper, the way people walk, doorknobs, everything. Then I get used to a place and I don't notice those things anymore. So only by forgetting, can I see the place again. As it really is."
(Sometimes, and in so many ways, that film is solid cinematic gold.)

This is my list of white paper about Lincoln, Nebraska.

-There is a constant buzz of  insect noise. People who are from here don't notice it anymore- I asked some. It is this loud buzz of a zillion high pitched voices chomping and celebrating and mating and living in the prairie. One person suggested cicadas. I don't even know what those are.

-One way streets. There are one way-ers in San Diego, but they aren't like these ones. These are the main thoroughfares through Lincoln, and they blow my mind. Every time. People drive fast on them ,and expect you to as well. They yell out their windows, over the heads of their babies if you aren't compliant.

-There are probably nine billion pounds of corn and soybeans growing around me. I get overwhelmed thinking about how monotonous and ecologically unsound it is to grow two things almost exclusively and so abundantly. The utter ocean of cornfield after soybean field after cornfield is mesmerizing at best.

-Nebraska is not a desert. I guess I got used to the desert of Utah, and forgot how green things can be. I guess I let myself slip into thinking that green things only grew in little hidden valleys, and never really considered the vast expanse of the central United States. It is so very verdant, so incredibly alive. It seems shameful to not know the livingness of this place.

-Lawns are very big in this place. I thought is was a falsehood that people really cared about their lawn this much, but it's real, and it's here. It makes for really beautiful looking neighborhoods.

-The sky is utterly expansive, totally engrossing, and engaging at ANY MOMENT in the day. I am beginning to think that I should have gone into meteorology with the amount of time I spend looking up. I live inside clouds sometimes. Sunrises. Sunsets. Mid- Day. Nighttime. All of it. IT is beautiful and huge, and carves itself onward, seemingly forever. I have never experienced a place where the sky was such a major element of things, it was always broken up by the mountains, or in competition with the ocean's largess.I hope I can focus. I hope I don't forget this one.

-People want to talk to me, but they don't really know how. I am trying to relearn the art of friend-making and talking. I forgot how to do that, I got comfortable and lazy in Provo with the immediacy and ease with which friendships were created there.

-Lincoln has a lot of tattoo shops. It follows, then, that there are a lot of tattoos. Mental jury is still out, but for the most part, they lean towards being overjoyed to see so much ink injected under the surface of the skin of my fellow Nebraskans. Beautiful.

-I have, with solemnity, replaced my preset radio stations. I found a replacement for KRCL, but with great trepidation and high expectations. I had to sort through A LOT of Evangelical Christian rock stations and classic rock channels to find it, but I can report a success nevertheless. The new station is... sub-par, but a college station, so I accept. They have a program where they play the music from movies. As in, all of the music. I have always thought someone should do that, so that program alone has me listening.

-The ward is a family more than any other I have ever experienced. I had a really wonderful FHE tonight, and I felt I made some in-roads to making friends. I am curious about the Elder's Quorum President. I think I have a baby crush, one of the variety that doesn't make any sense at all. That is all.

I cannot stop listening to this song (please click this link. The song is so good. I tried to embed it here, but failed miserably. Sorry. Just click. Just click.), because is it perfect for me. Add 800 miles to the part where she says "16 miles to the promised land", and you will understand. This is hard; I'm doing the best I can.


madeline said...

love that song. can't wait to road trip for spring break. :)

GraceyFin said...

Welcome to the Midwest!!

Marge Bjork said...

that is the best picture of this sky i have ever seen.