26 June, 2007

Olivia and I made it back from Asheville after lunch. We had taken our time getting our errands done in Asheville, stopping at the French Broad Co-Op , Harvest Records, and mast General Store before heading out to Marshall. We stopped in at Marshall Proper to
So Olivia could show me off. Lee walker stood out side of his fine crafts gallery , much the same, except he was sporting a very angular Amish beard to which he had braided.

The gallery is nice, with a whiff of a southwestern trading post. An echo of Mr. Walker’s time spent in Texas. The shop carries some of Rob Amberg’s nostalgic and sometimes stark, black and white photographs that chronicle the county. There is also some Langsner furniture, silver work and a modest rack of hand designed women’s clothing, a few silver rings, and some biomorphic clay sculpture that reminds me of a sprouting onion seed.

The guy that used own Lark Books, an independent publishing company of craft books, has since sold the company to a larger house out of NYC, and has taken on the orgasmic endeavor of renovating the old Marshall Island High school. The rooms are slated to be
artist studios. Everyone is pleased with the smart development of Marshall, NC.
The family seems inspired and pleased with Marshall’s events; I wish the same could be said for the turn of events in our home.
I have returned to Big Pine due to Rennie’s death. Words like passing, transcending, moving are good descriptors. A word like death is what it is though. We don’t like to say that because it isn’t youth, it isn’t hot, or sexy, but it is something we meet along the way. I run from my wrinkles and sighs, but I can not hide, even amongst the humidity and magnolia bushes of Western North Carolina. I can not hide from life either.

I have lived in a grieving house before, but it was never felt as acutely as returning home to live at the family farm in the small remodeled shack of my parents after Rennie died.
I wonder if the walls are sobbing. If they are, they will someday be laughing.


Joel from Zuma’s Coffee invited us up to Judy Welders place on Big Pine Creek to swim in her pond. It took the family a long morning of sleeping in and reading on the porch before we got it together. Olivia made some three bean salad and rice, we rolled up our towels and went. It is was the first social interaction for Olivia and Dad. They seemed stunned. In shock. I wasn’t the most empathetic at that moment, wanting to use my time to network with folks that could help us get the farm in shape.
Dad sat on a wooden island in the middle of the pond wearing the same swim trunks he has worn since Olivia was born, Olivia floated around the pond on a raft holding a micro brew. I had done my scissor legs off the diving board, and was hoping to catch some sun on my sad Arizona thighs… So much has changed in the past week. Rennie isn’t here anymore, but the memories of her are. Trinkets and objects fill our family home in testimony to our family’s innate ability to endear each other with little jewels and pocket things.

I finished my beer and talked with a farmer, sharecropper guy who was excited about getting ducks in the mail. He was studying accounting and business at a local hippie school, and offered to come over and assess our property. His friends had just opened
A health food store in Marshall proper, and said they would carry any health food type stuff I might need on a regular basis if I was to buy it. I took a sip of their pretty moonshine beverage that lit up like a tequila sunrise, and thought to myself that I might be okay out in tick-ville.
Joel had invited a handful of people up to swim, they were all under 40 years old except for Joel and father. This is a contrast to growing up around people older than me for so long. I thought it was exciting despite my somber mood. This guy Eric showed up later. An artist with a happy face and mood. He had paint all over his corduroys, and a bit of a faux hawk, which led me to think he was an artist. Apparently younger artists are moving into Marshall now…Cheaper rent, quiet life, and a river as wide as a lake…I left that night with a little crush on Eric and hope for a new life here in the mountains. There isn’t anything except hope.
If I stop having hope and think about life without faith the danger seems overwhelmingly immense and angular.


Jennifer picked me up at the bottom of the farm road this morning to take me with her to Asheville. She had just picked up the keys to her new store front for Build it Naturally, her green business idea that offers environmentally safe products to contractors and home improvement people.
Her shop is right next door to the health food co-op and the Orange Peel, a local venue that everyone seems to poo-poo but go to when big acts come to Asheville. The Smashing Pumpkins has taken up residency at the Orange Peel, choosing Asheville to be its only residency for a week long concert. People are camped outside of the building hoping to buy scalped tickets. Asheville is overwhelmingly hip with all of it’s amazing murals, sculptures, and hand crafted wood workery. Something that I notice about this
Area upon return, is that Asheville seems a lot more family friendly then other towns I have known. Furthermore, people here seem keen on healthy community. I have been to a lot of health oriented towns that hold personal health and well being as a primary staple,
yet selfishly so. I don’t know, I could be wrong…it could be relative.

I am excited for Jennifer. Maybe I can help her out somehow. I love new, hopeful ideas.

List of things to do on the farm this week:
1. Prune trees on path to cabin
2. scrub the faucets with a toothbrush
3. weed the cactus garden
4. clean the mud room
5. call Lee, ask him to make us a gate lever thing
6. be nice
7. give back rubs

No comments: