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"How's hope feeling today?"

"Same birds that followed me to school when I was young..."

Kathryn and I got out fairly early this afternoon, too early, really. The sun was gloriously white and bright and searing, but it was a bit much for Kathryn. Our forays will, from here on, be mainly morning and evening. But this is the light, the color, the sky that I know and that comforts me. The greens are the greens I have not seen – except for the short trip to New Orleans last summer – for the last six years (and two months). There's anxiety at being in places I've not been in a long, long time, the landscape of my childhood. Yes, there is that anxiety. But it is largely overcome by the rightness to my eyes and mind. This is a balm my soul has needed, and it will help me survive the next Providence winter.

We left Leeds on 411/25, driving into Moody, to find the little house where we briefly lived from sometime in 1967 until sometime in 1968. My mother doesn't recall the specific dates, but we were there over the winter. We had a Christmas there. I would have been three, but I have very clear memories of that place. I recall watching Dark Shadows. The Banana Splits, and Rocky and Bullwinkle while we lived there. Now, the house is a nail salon, or something of the sort. We stopped long enough for me to take a couple of photos (behind the cut, below).

Then, we took Markeeta Spur Road up to Whites Chapel Road to Roper Road, stopping by Cahaba Cove, the subdivision where we livd my last two years of high school (June 1980 – October 1982). I took photos, and maybe I'll post those later, but not now. We continued on into Trussville proper, about a mile and a half from the house at Cahaba Cove. I'd have finished high school in Trussville, if I hadn't have dropped out in April 1982, a month before graduation, taken the GED, and gone to college. The old high school building is still there, but Hewitt-Trussville high is now in a new location. I got out and Kathryn took some photos. Gods, I was miserable in that place. maybe not quite as miserable as I was during my first two years of high school in Leeds. But it was bad. The torment I endured from jocks and rednecks was epic. And yet, still, there is the weirdly bittersweet pang of nostalgia. I'm nostalgia's bitch, always. I stopped by the school sometime in 1983 to visit my old biology/pre-zoology instructor – one person there who was good to me. But that was thirty-one years ago now.





The house in Moody (right). View to the southeast.



Same.



Formerly Hewitt-Trussville High. View to the east.



Me, first time in thirty-one years...



Wayback.

Photographs Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.



From Trussville, we went west into Roebuck, just back the Birmingham city limits. But it was a nightmare of consumerism, the stretch of Gadsden Highway between Trussville and Roebuck. What once was fields and a few houses has become an endless parade of strips malls. It was disheartening (that Arcade Fire song, "Mountains Beyond Mountains), and we headed back home earlier than I'd intended.

Now, I'm gonna go rest a bit. More tomorrow. Oh! I almost forgot the mention the amazing sky Kathryn and I were privy too near twilight yesterday, as we took a walk. There was a rainbow, and a thunderstorm had turned the sky vivid shades of pink. To the south, the sky was still storm dark, over the mountain. To the north, the sky was an almost unreal shade of blue, rather like a robin's egg, but deeper and of an almost neon intensity. And there were bats and swallows, and the air was filled with the summer drone of cicadas.

There are crows and horses everywhere. And we saw a rafter of turkeys today.

Hunted by American Dreams,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 10 comments — Have your say! )
sovay
Aug. 25th, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, there is that anxiety. But it is largely overcome by the rightness to my eyes and mind. This is a balm my soul has needed, and it will help me survive the next Providence winter.

I am so very glad.

And there were bats and swallows, and the air was filled with the summer drone of cicadas.

Lovely.
everville340
Aug. 26th, 2014 12:02 am (UTC)
I recall watching Dark Shadows, The Banana Splits, and Rocky and Bullwinkle while we lived there.

Cheers to that nostalgic trio!

I'm nostalgia's bitch, always.

Going back to the former Hewitt-Trussville is something I could probably never bring myself to do with my own high school. The integrity of your return after so long is admirable; love the Ramones shirt and new Converse!

Hope you and Kathryn continue to enjoy yourselves.

setsuled
Aug. 26th, 2014 12:20 am (UTC)
Your hair looks nice black again. Nice photos--I'm glad you're having a good time.
ulffriend
Aug. 26th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
The southern summer sky is a different thing.I don't have your words to describe that amalgam of blue and silver, but I know exactly what you mean.

We all seem to have those teachers who help us survive high school. I'm fortunate to still be in touch with mine - but she was a very young teacher then...

I hope this gives you some of what you need.

I'm glad that the bats there seem to be ok - the white nose fungus has made it to GA now and we are serving as bat counters to help DNR get an idea of how bad it might be.

Edited at 2014-08-26 01:34 am (UTC)
corucia
Aug. 26th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)

Ah, the Banana Splits - now their theme song is going to running through my head for the next two days…

We just returned from a train trip (Chicago to DC) visiting old haunts on the East Coast. Alia wanted to see Chapel Hill NC, her birthplace. The thing I'd forgotten was the insect sounds, their volume, intensity, omnipresence.

I hope the visit does you well
(Deleted comment)
dipsomaniac
Aug. 26th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
There's anxiety at being in places I've not been in a long, long time, the landscape of my childhood.

I understand that anxiety, though I only live about an hour away from where I grew up. When I'm back there everything seems so small. I like the anonymity of living in a bigger city.

I'm really digging the black hair and your overall look.
mb2u
Aug. 26th, 2014 08:56 pm (UTC)
I drive by my old high school every so often when I'm visiting my mother back home. It hasn't changed much, and I just don't feel a desire to walk back into the place. I often feel that way about places I formerly worked at as well.
esanko
Aug. 27th, 2014 05:17 am (UTC)
Stupid Past
I personally prefer to indulge in the fantasy that High School never existed. My choice. Better this way.

Feelings of rage rising. Calm. RISING... Breathe...
esanko
Aug. 27th, 2014 05:34 am (UTC)
If this question is out of line, please forgive and forget, no disrespect intended, exact opposite- when did you transition?
( 10 comments — Have your say! )