Some places never leave me even if I leave them. Also, since we welcomed television to our lives in New Zealand when I was eight years old and so much more Amrkn culture appeared in our everyday, (it was turned off after the 6pm news if i recall), along with the music, clothes and films, magazines and other paraphernalia like big-finned or V-8 yank tanks - cars - and fantastic motorbikes which we already had in abundance, yeh, well, I think Amrka visited me before I finagled a way to go there. Once I'd been the first time, to LA in the early 80s on our way home from a year and a half in Europe and the UK, I never really left the place. It felt like a room in my house I could visit if I could only recall the door that led there and now, having spent much longer, a month or so in the States, it's many rooms and streets, and buildings and parks and wide open spaces, trains, airports, planes, along with a whole crowd of people.
I dream about crumbling, grand hotels in Detroit, from a series of glorious photos someone shared on faceberk, my friends from my visit live in these spectacular ruins and we carry on conversations, discussions and disagreements as if we're still together and I never flew away back to these shaky islands, where some say I am better off, but I pine, o yes I do. An Amrkn friend introduced me to another New Zealander who used to live over there and we commiserated with each other for some time recently about our loss, talked over how wonderful Amrkn people are, those we met. Their generosity, their intense interest in what you have to say and the way people there give credit for a job well done, it's so heart-warming, makes for surely stronger friendships, better workplaces and just a generally finer day-to-day existence.
This hotel has the most wonderful shades of blues and creams, sadness looks beautiful here.
Although this house is in Detroit, there were also huge mansions all the way along into New York which I saw from the train, ruined like this or slightly less. Glory days gone but their loveliness remained in small town after small town. It was like one family ran these places once upon a boom time and maybe they did.
I can imagine I am there in Amrka whenever I wish now, and often do. Close my eyes or look inward and think about walking a street or seeing a view, hearing certain voices, imagining what they'd say. On this cold, rainy bitter spring day with wild winds buffeting my blue house it's a pleasure to think of the delicate trees of Iowa in spring green and blossom, the wide Mississippi River laid out as broad as a lake shimmering from bank to bank and snaking to the ocean so very far from there, my friends' rolling accents and their insightful, kind talk, their smiles, the smart remarks, how we laughed and laughed.
The New Zealander and I who pine for the place, we both say we are Amrkns inside NZ skin, and it's true I think. I have a friend now who lives in Australia and became an Australian, he says he suits the larger country. A continent has a completely different feeling to any island. There isn't the same sense of not having enough distance, if you ever want to get away from it all, in Amrka it feels like you have all the distance and more you'd ever need to put between yourself and anyone or anything or anywhere else. Promise and opportunity appear more likely, for some reason to me and I love the out-going attitude of so many of the people. A friend once said people have to be more careful on an island, they can't easily hide from their enemies.
So these are my thoughts today and those who disagree are free to say so, I gave up trying to be a perfect person many years ago and cannot please everyone all the time, of course. Lovely to think about how strong the trip I took made me anyway and what a joy it was to meet those fine friends, great writers and lovely people who live in Amrka and who are real treasures, more valuable than I could ever explain.
This picture of a mermaid by the way is the best I have found so far, these creatures fascinate me and I belong to a group of fabulous women who all believe we are stranded mermaids. My next collection of stories is about magical events and various myths, some invented recently and a few ancient.