All posts filed under “Connecticut

He Who Transplanted Still Sustains

“When I Recieving the Blessing I’ve Got Coming, I’m Going to Raise a Nice Cool Glass of Water and Toast the Living and the Dead Who Have Gone Before Me and My Head Will Throb Like an Old Wound Reopening.”

Long Island Sound.

In the heat and sun of late June, I gazed out across coarse dry sand and tuned into and back out of conversation being had about people who’s lives have ended, who I have no connection to. I watched the bodies of the people on the beach in the hot sun, skin pink and irritated. The abundance and white of the oyster shells along the beach was stark and startling. Time passed slowly that Saturday as I daydreamed about my life, read idly the words of Tom Robbins, pondered what was for dinner.

Some days, I am at a loss for words. Lately, it seems I barely have the ability to string together cohesive sentences in text form outside of a conversation. I am bothered by my inability to talk or wax philosophical about my photographs; I want to tell you, dear reader, about how the world continues to tell me secrets about it’s beauty. It has given me someone who’s face and smile makes my heart lighter, who’s body next to mine feels a little bit like coming home, who’s brain makes me feel like I am not alone in opinions and outlooks. I do not know what we are or where we are going (if anywhere) but it does not seem to matter very much when we are together. The goodness of the situation trumps the gross, intrusive, inconsequential negative thoughts that keeping coming up about myself, my body, my brain, my history.

Dear reader, I really don’t know and it is really fantastic.

Anncarol's Dining Room.

Food & Books.

Holiday tradition, since 2006 has involved driving from Boston, MA to Allentown, PA. The six hour drive was punctuated by all of the familiar landmarks and stops. It got to the point that from any given place along the route that I traveled, I knew approximately how long it would be until I got home, within ten minutes or so.

This year, that holiday tradition was (thankfully) broken, as I’ve moved back to the place I really call home. It felt weird not to set off Wednesday morning from the outskirts of Boston, pointed southwest, my car’s wheels coasting over the cold asphalt at 70mph. Thanksgiving this year was a mere hour drive, along curving back roads with high beams guiding my way.

I found this one on my harddrive, along with some other ignored goodies, and I really like it. The repeating pastoral scene on the wallpaper border is something full of brilliance, given the landscape is punctuated with John Deere tractors. I took it on a trip to Lebanon, CT with A. Kilton and her polaroid in tow, for Easter dinner at her aunt’s house. That trip is yet another series of directions and sights and smells and experiences that composed a holiday tradition that became my own. It will be broken this year; after all, I moved home and back into traditions that were only ever partially mine to begin with.

The American Pastime.

Baseball Diamond, Lebanon Middle School. Lebanon CT.

I am not particularly emotionally invested in baseball. I grew up only vaguely aware of the Philadelphia Phillies perpetual defeat. Football was the staple sport in my house and in my family; rarely was there a weekend when someone wasn’t going to a Penn State football game. Football blared from the TV from late August until January, when the Superbowl’s last seconds ticked down in the corner of the screen. Sure, I’ve been to baseball games (The Former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons) and I understand the basic premise of the game. I won’t ever ask what quarter the game is in, I vaguely understand stats, and occasionally I listen to a game on the radio if I happen to catch one. It was only recently I admitted my love of football to the outside world, as sports were a symbol and part of dominate culture in the U.S. that was really alienating to me. They still are part of that culture, but more recently I’ve found myself able to relax and enjoy them. Games are better digested live, instead of through a TV screen. I look forward to going to IronPigs’ and Penn State games when I move home.

But I don’t love baseball. I feel like I should love baseball, given it is America’s Pastime and everyone knows that I like to be a good American . There is something about it that is closely linked to early 20th century history, the rise of leisure and the middle class. It’s kind of romantic, in the context of history. I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t know who the Babe or Jackie Robinson is or why they’re Important. Honestly, I’m totally winging this from my impression of baseball in America but it seems so closely tied to democracy in a way that I can’t quite put my finger on. I also suspect that it’s tied to the American dream. Movies like The Sandlot and Field of Dreams are gleaming examples of this; work hard and you, too, can have success and fame and prosperity, despite whatever obstacles of class and race you will have to overcome!

Mount Carmel Little League Baseball Field. Mount Carmel PA.

Baseball diamonds dot the American landscape. Rarely can you drive through a small town that doesn’t have something resembling a baseball field, be it overgrown or perfectly manicured. It is something huge when a new stadium goes up or an old one comes down. There is something strangely magical about standing at home plate or on the pitcher’s mound of ANY baseball field, be it Fenway Park or the field down the street with no lights or bases. One can’t help but feel connected to something bigger than themselves, as the baseball diamond is so pressed and adhered to the collective memory of the U.S.

Pitcher’s Mound. Framingham MA.

Over the past year or so, I’ve taken notice to baseball fields, photographing them if I get the chance to. I love the way dilapidated or DIY’d backstops look. I like the freshly combed dirt, the overgrown outfield, and the geometry of the diamond from the corners of my eyes when I’m standing at home plate or on the pitchers’ mound. While baseball diamonds are designed to function the same way and hold a specific sport, it is endlessly fascinating to me their immense variation, which is tied to location, class and level of skill of the teams that play on them. I find them to be really amazing things to photograph and awesome spaces to occupy. I recently started a flickr set, Playing Fields, where I’ll put any and all future developments in this strange, totally-out-of-context interest of mine.