Monday, March 19, 2012

Summer in Jordan

Spring is here! and an unseasonably warm one at that. Time again, I suppose, to take out the patio furniture and begin my summer reading. Jordan's a great place for that, perhaps because it's so quiet. Last summer I had a swell time reading some works by Henry James (The Wings of the Dove and A Portrait of a Lady). It's times like these, when the sun is shining and I'm eating the lotus, that I feel I could stay here a long while and be very content.

Monday, March 12, 2012

And as promised . . .

My recent post about Jordan sinking caused quite an uproar, but at last naysayers may see for themselves. I present to you my photographic evidence of Jordan's slow erosion into the valley. In the photograph to the right you can clearly see where the sidewalk and guard rail begin to sink away.

Yes indeed, ladies and gentleman, Jordan is sinking. Best buy your souvenirs and take your photographs now for in another 2 or 3 or 4 centuries (I'll have to consult a geologist) Jordan will be returned to the valley floor. (Hopefully future inhabitants of this quaint little strip have the good sense to move farther inland before then.)

In the great state of Massachusetts, where I was born in raised, several towns were moved in the 1930s to make way for the development a gigantic reservoir which was to supply the Boston area with fresh drinking water. Entire communities were uprooted, graves dug up, town disincorporated. It's a fascinating history; you can read a little bit about it here. I've always tried to imagine what it would been like to live in one those communities at that time, literally waiting for the flood to come and sweep your whole life away. It's something I must research to a fuller degree in the coming months and years.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Small Town Precedents

"Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child."—Vladimir Nabakov Lolita

As some might have gleaned from the somewhat sardonic tone I've taken in previous posts, and the equally sardonic attitude I seem to have toward my temporary hometown, I'm at the point in my life where I'm itching to put small-town living on hiatus for a little while and try my hand at a slightly more urban existence. It's not that I have any great aversion to small towns; it's just that I always seem to find myself in one.

I grew up in Medway, Massachusetts, a town too far from Boston to really be considered a suburb. It aesthetic terms, it was a pleasing enough childhood, although it certainly had it's darker undertones—one of our neighbours (or should I say "neighbors") tried to kill his wife and kids, but wound up burning his face off. Beyond this, I recall an air of surreptitiousness seemed to pervade—but if I give too much away here there won't be any impetus to buy my memoir. Please enjoy this promotional video of my hometown, directed by David Lynch:

After Medway, my next small-town experience was in Lennoxville, PQ, where I completed my undergraduate degree. Next to Lennoxville, Medway we a veritable booming metropolis. Beyond the university, Lennoxville didn't have a tremendous lot going for it. I spent most of the time drinking cheap wine in friends apartment and deliberating in the Tim Hortons line as to whether or not I should order mon moyen café in tried, tested, true English, or mysterious French—a beautiful language that can barely distinguish between a house and a home. This video tour will give you some idea of what it was like (although I don't personally recall things looking quite so bleak.)