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Rain again today, washing away yesterday's snow and the snow beneath it. Spring lurches towards New England, a slushy, ugly beast.

In yesterday's entry, I alluded to a small adventure I'd be undertaking. It turned out to be not quite as small as I'd thought it would be, but still, there were no obvious lost tombs or trolls or feats of daring do. The snow, being light, and so much of the old heavy snow having been washed away, finally gave me the chance to visit Rolling Dam in the Blackstone Gorge. Which, of course, is very near the most important locale in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, but which I'd only seen in autumn and summer. Spooky wasn't happy about making the drive over all the gaping potholes that used to be roads, but I had Hubero hold Charlie Monkey hostage, so she went along with the plan.

We drove through Woonsocket, and stopped at the huge dam at Thundermist Falls. The easternmost spillway was closed for repairs of some sort, which made the view slightly less magnificent, but only slightly less so. They got more snow in Woonsocket, about three or four inches. The sky above was the palest velvety blue-grey, like another shade of snow, and the water coming over the dam and slamming loudly against the granite was an ocher green. All across Woonsocket, the old mills were frosted, and I could almost imagine the city before the decay of its industry.

We continued on to Massachusetts and Millville and to the spot by Rolling Dam where we always park. The snow here was maybe five or six inches (still, nothing at all for this winter). A man was shouldering a heavy backpack to make the hike to the gorge proper. We settled for Rolling Dam. This winter, it's a beauty I didn't grow up with, and it startles, disarms, and delights me. I've always found the still, deep water above the dam ominous, but it was more so than ever yesterday. Just north of the dam, the river was frozen over, back where it gets a bit swampy. I made notes, and we took photos. There were crows everywhere, and Spooky spotted a raptorial bird of some sort perched in the trees across the river.

By the time we made it back to Providence, it was late afternoon, maybe four-thirty p.m., maybe five. I got back to work. We proofed "Rats Live On No Evil Star" for Two Worlds and In Between. It's one of the few stories I wrote in the nineties (it was written in '97) that I still love.

Here are photos from the drive (behind the cut):





Thundermist Falls in Woonsocket, sort of mucked up by construction. View to the west.



Rolling Dam above the Blackstone Gorge. View to the west.



View to the west.



The snowy rapids immediately below the dam. View to the southwest.



The view to the northwest was amazing. If only I'd had a canoe.



I imagine what might be beneath the green-black water, and small animals venturing across the thin ice.



Even with the roar from the dam, there was profound solitude.



Bare limbs near the dam. View up and to the south.



I will never master the clever self-portrait-in-the-rear-view-mirror-trick.

Photographs © Copyright 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac



---

Today will be Assembly Day for Sirenia Digest #63. My great thanks to everyone who took part in the Question @ Hand challenge.

Here's a rather wonderful piece on The Red Tree, written by Lynda E. Rucker. One of the best I've seen written, actually, as it's no mere review, and doesn't waste words regurgitating the plot: "An Appreciation of Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Red Tree"

As for the Oscars, I was mostly pleased. I was very pleased that awards went to Shaun Tan and to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and to Natalie Portman. I wasn't so happy with Best Director (should have gone to Aronofsky), Actor (should have gone to Jeff Bridges), and Picture (should have gone to Black Swan or True Grit), but everything before that was pretty good. I hear some guy named James Franco made an ass of himself.

Gods, lots more...but it's gonna have to wait until another entry. Time to make the doughnuts.

Comments

( 20 comments — Have your say! )
tsarina
Feb. 28th, 2011 05:13 pm (UTC)
I find water that I can't see the bottom of disturbing. It makes it hard when I go to the lake, because I love to swim. I'm just always thinking about what monster Texas size demonic catfish might be lurking under me, or caves under the water leading to dark places.

It looks so pretty. And Cold.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 05:15 pm (UTC)

I find water that I can't see the bottom of disturbing.

Same here.

It makes it hard when I go to the lake, because I love to swim. I'm just always thinking about what monster Texas size demonic catfish might be lurking under me, or caves under the water leading to dark places.

They you'll love The Drowning Girl: A Memoir.
tsarina
Feb. 28th, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
I've already got an inflatable pool for my backyard, so I can read it there. I might be too disturbed to read it at the lake.
whiskeychick
Feb. 28th, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
The construction is likely maintenance to such crumbling infrastructure as we can only begin to fathom. With the congressional suggestion that we cut $275 million in highway and other infrastructure construction (read: maintenance) the pot holes Spooky and all of us despise will get worse. Add another $341 million in other infrastructure repairs (like to the dam above) being cut and there's more than a view potentially mucked up. The screwed up part of that is the politicians know that people are screaming 'no more taxes' and that's because the tax burden on the working class is so high -- yet the wealthiest of wealthiest get tax breaks. No wonder we have no frakkin money to fix bridges and levees and other things that protect life and property.

:: steps down off soap box ::

Your long lean lines in the one photo are so elegant.

Juxtapose that photo with your self portrait and I think we see a nice range (spectrum, if you will) of who CRK is.

Looking forward to the digest, as always.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
:: steps down off soap box ::

It was a much appreciated rant.

Your long lean lines in the one photo are so elegant.

Really? I thought I looked like a stylish lump.

Edited at 2011-02-28 05:35 pm (UTC)
whiskeychick
Feb. 28th, 2011 06:21 pm (UTC)
Really. Very statuesque.

I assure you, I am the one to fulfill "lump" roll. (fades off singing "she's lump...")
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC)

(fades off singing "she's lump...")

I admit I loved that song.
ashlyme
Feb. 28th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
The pictures don't show up on this phone sadly, but your writing makes me feel like I can see that dam. I love your use of colours. Thank you!

That Rucker article's lovely, and makes me want to go back to The Red Tree (I've read it twice in the year I've had it).
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)

The pictures don't show up on this phone sadly, but your writing makes me feel like I can see that dam. I love your use of colours.

Get thee to a computer terminal!

(I've read it twice in the year I've had it).

Wow; I'm flattered.
dipsomaniac
Feb. 28th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
There is something wonderful about the way that first photo is composed. I love how the left side is so stark and monotone and the color cuts in from the right.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)

There is something wonderful about the way that first photo is composed. I love how the left side is so stark and monotone and the color cuts in from the right.

Thanks. It was a very frustrating one to get.
joshrupp
Feb. 28th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)
I don't watch the Oscars for the same reason I don't go to church. It's boring and frequently wrong.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)

It's boring and frequently wrong.

Until we moved to Rhode Island and forsook television, I hadn't missed a broadcast since 1980.
spank_an_elf
Feb. 28th, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Seeing Trent "I want to fuck the whole world" Reznor win an Oscar was a hoot.

Waterfalls and snow manage to be sexy and scary. Love the pictures.
greygirlbeast
Feb. 28th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)

Waterfalls and snow manage to be sexy and scary.

Agreed.
pisceanblue
Feb. 28th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
I particularly enjoyed Rucker's comment in regards to Sarah's personality - one of the reasons I continue to reread The Red Tree is because it's almost like looking in a mirror, even if Sarah is so close to you in regards to autobiographical elements. I feel when I step out of the experience once more I will not see myself in the mirror. It's a very enthralling experience, and thus one of the charms of the fantastic or uncanny: a type of delirium is experienced when something so strange is also so familiar and/or sympathetic.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 1st, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)

It's a very enthralling experience, and thus one of the charms of the fantastic or uncanny: a type of delirium is experienced when something so strange is also so familiar and/or sympathetic.

A very fine description of what I try to do.
catconley
Feb. 28th, 2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
Lovely photos and article. The water is creepy and calming all at once somehow. Thanks for sharing.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 1st, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)

The water is creepy and calming all at once somehow.

Yes. It is.
egologic
Mar. 1st, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
The photos are wonderful. I love water and dams are always fun. I'm not crazy about snow but I like it in photographs. The first photograph has a very nice feel with the combination of blue standing out in what might at first be thought to be a black and white photograph. But they're all very good and I find them a pleasure to look at.
( 20 comments — Have your say! )