Week 8. Alternate geographies

You wrote last week about peeling back the layers of life and compared these to the former Mississippi River paths. I live three blocks from the Mississippi River and often wonder about these former paths. The chains of lakes in the cities around around our city follow ancient river beds. Or, ancient river beds are over printed with glacial melt water tunnels that are now overprinted with lakes. The rivers left fingerprints in our landscape. Those fingerprints grow across the plains in fractals. River water flows faster on the outside of a bend, eroding the bank and making the bends more sinuous. The bends increase until the river snaps back to a straight path. A crescent shaped lake called an oxbow is left as the mark of an ancient meander.

Materials: Water colors, coffee, ink

It used to bother me that I could hold the image of a place in my mind, that the place could exist – perfectly itself – in two places at once.

I’m always looking for signs…in the dark, in silence, when the light changes at the end of the day.

Signs are observed; symptoms are felt.

Antibodies attach more readily to the hemagglutinin stem of a flu virus and to the glycoprotein stalk of an Ebola virus: the crossroads between outer shield and virus membrane. Anatomy is structure but also revelation of vulnerability.

My hair lately has become my mom’s. It takes hours to dry; I lay it on the couch, and it leaves maps of all the connections I used to despise.

I’m homesick always – holding geographies in body and memory to which I can never really return.

Materials: Ink, Sharpie

Images: [top left] Pattern of wet hair on couch (Aug 23, 2014); [top right] Lights on the shore of Lake Superior seen from Duluth’s Bayfront Park; [bottom left] Lights on Saint Paul’s Cathedral Hill and the freeway seen from Cedar Street; [bottom right] Pattern of wet hair on couch (Jan 7, 2016)



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