Monday, December 18, 2006

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have designs on you

The flight home for winter hibernation involves a degree of preparation that's altogether absent from my gift planning for the season. All week I've been slowing my metabolism to ready myself. The work outputs drop off; the inputs increase in scope and ambition, as I print out a diet of papers: a comprehensive survey of art theft incidence, economic explanations for the avant garde, some sources on japonisme. I've packed an 800-page, Dickensian mystery novel, and some slides by some sculptors I've been meaning to consider. I relish the winter privation.

Most of the year—or all year, most years—I complain about my parents' home near Dallas. It borders the city, but it's closer in spirit (and damn near in proximity) to an expanse of east Texas that is just about the loneliest place on Earth. It's a lunar plain, bigger than many states, crisscrossed by blue highways and farm roads that connect a constellation of towns and townships with names like Athens, Carthage, and Naples. Paris, Texas is situated here. As if these East Texas towns could just aspire so hard, they could bridge that gulf between themselves and the world's capitals, or maybe just between the local economy and that of the oil-rich west. It's not without its relics and monuments: county football stadia, derelict derricks standing like stelae. There's room in Texas for a certain kind of romantic. Don't know why, however, anyone would name a town in Texas Palestine.

There damn sure isn't anything to do where the Urban Coyote's going, so I'll be reading, sleeping, and writing.

Hibernation culminates in transformation: I hungrily welcome the new year. This one that's nearly done has been a hard year, though it didn't pass without its burning-bright moments. I don't want to linger on it any more than to say that, and sure, I know that nothing really changes with the calendar. But it's good enough for an arbitrary bookend, and I find that comforting. New year, new aspect.


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