Oct 24, 2008

Homesick

Sometimes pictures don't really capture your friends or your moments together and sometimes they do. Perfectly.

I am officially homesick. It’s struck me a year late and all the harder for it. As a sophomore, I’m no longer preoccupied with navigating the most efficient path between classes or discovering this new, bright city or figuring out how one exactly studies – I never really did it in high school and am now sort of paranoid about my study habits – and now I’m stuck with a lot of space to think. And my thoughts always turn to home.

“Home” as in the community of friends that has been flung around the country, which, for the most part, will never be completely reconstituted. It’s a gut wrenching to think that our time together was squandered as it was so I try to absorb myself in music, reading, studying and (as of late) sewing. I am going to be honest and say that I have Google image searched “Allentown” and tried to show my friends “Look!” but the conversation quickly turns into the daily debate of Chinese vs. pizza vs. dining hall.

I read The Geography of Nowhere this summer and it made me burn with the need to take save the future of the community that saved my life. There are days where I think I’m wasting time in college, idling hours and dollars that could be put forth to action. It so happens that every time I have one of these days, I get an invaluable gem of information in my classes the next day and I think that I have to keep learning and only when I hit maximum capacity can I go out and start That Big Thing. But I digress.

To give my ears something to listen to while I keep my hands/mind distracted by my recent sewing kick, I listen to music and podcasts. Tonight’s content of sounds was just tugging at the homesick parts of my brain so sharply that I’ve just gotta share.

James Howard Kunstler and Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom dragged me into this trench of homesickness. The episode “On Hope And Despair” by Kunstler combined with “Blue Ridge Mountains” and "Sprout and the Bean" just DID IT to me and now I’m Google image searching “Allentown” again and re-falling in love with the place.

I really encourage you to listen to these people. Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom and Jim Kunstler, I mean. They serve up a pretty potent mix of nostalgia and activism. I am not so sure that I am going to get to sleep tonight.

I will be back in the Valley tomorrow and I have a long list of things I intend to do to get the most out of the cold days of autumn glory there. Pick pumpkins? Cold weather picnic? Country drive? Bake Oven Knob?

…Suggestions?

7 comments:

Sarina said...

We hit up a pumpkin patch last weekend. Always a great fall tradition. Stop by a farm stand for apple cider, too!

By the way, I like your taste in music.

A.J.C. said...

Relax...

matthew said...

Katie! Te amamos! Ven a hacer una pasantía en Allentown durante el verano! Queremos que la ciudad adopte algunas de las ideas de nuestra inspiración, Jane Jacobs. Busca la gente del Plaza Growers' Market para más información.

Joyce Marin said...

Chen Arts gathering at the House of Chen this Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

j black said...

K.

I like your style and as one of the "unofficial" community activists of A-town, I welcome you into the fold. (smile)
I learned awhile ago that you can't SAVE a City but you can affect it's people. The City is nothing but bricks, mortar, buildings, and businesses. It's the people who are the blood that give the life to this entity.
It's a thankless job and you will make many friends and enemies. People will hate and despise you and many will befriend and love you due to your convictions, beliefs, and actions. People will attempt to expose you and maybe even assassinate your character but it's ALL good because then you KNOW you are headed in the RIGHT direction. I am unsure WHY I continue to speak out with my e-newsletter and do community events but I know they need to be done for the PEOPLE.
This is definitely not a life for the weak at heart, but I am sure you have the mettle for it.
I just follow my Mom's mantra and it keeps me going: While Others Talk, WE Do!

Alfonso Todd

Katie Bee said...

@sarina- the weather was AWFUL on saturday and i didn't make it to any patch! i love fresh roasted pumpkins seeds and totally lament this loss. also, if you like my taste in music that means i probably like your taste in music!!

@a.j.c. - coming home IS relaxing ... sort of.

@matthew- ¡Por supuesto, te visitaré! Quiero implicarme en los actividades en la ciudad. Gracias por la ayuda.

@joyce marin - i wish i could have made it, i really really enjoy those meetings, but we hosted my sister's engagement dinner (she is engaged! it is great) and i helped out with cooking/cleaning/shopping/babysitting all evening!

@alfonso- your mother's words are an inspiration! i just feel hobbled that i can't "do" stuff across state lines!

Mrs. Dottie said...

Katie Bee,
Sat Nov 8th is Chen Arts get together at Chen 6:30.