Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Day four continues on hwy sixty-one south. I've just entered Perry County

When you live on a river like the Red, it's so little affecting, like a single nondescript tree, you can stare at it every day and walk away unchanged. When you live on the Mississippi, like a terrible mountain, you don't want to look at it. It's too insistent that you come down to the end with it, refusing to grant permission to turn around and contemplate its Source (that must be done sneakily). It's like falling from the sky--or any other activity that comes to an abrupt and unpleasant end with no second chances--I mean, like life.
So people don't look at the river. In the big cities they cater to tourists who wanna see it for the romance, but in the towns and farms they don't look at it--except perhaps those with an already fey disposition, I don't know. You can't see the river from town, there's a railroad between you and it (I asked one fellow if the river was just on the other side of that right-of-way over there; I might have asked him if his victims were just in that freezer over there). And along highway running its length, you're separated by not only the train tracks, but the next set or next two sets of hills or at least a broad muddy cultivated flat (cultivated with what? I'll have to find out). You can't see the river, only the steam above it. But the mist, too, reminds me of death.
There are quite a lot of roadside Marian shrines about.
Stopped to take in the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal at Saint Mary's of the Barrens Church in Perryville, MO for another three decades and to collect on a couple of--uh-- shall we say favors?
Passing through Cape Girardeau, Mary made me turn off 61 onto William to ensure I saw her Cathedral (a fellow in Ste Gen mentioned it, but didn't say where it was, and I didn't find out till I drove up to it), but I forgot to wear a shirt so equally she ensured the doors were locked. So I walked once around it, and on the fourth corner I looked up to see a little fountain garden just in time to glimpse a cardinal flitting off from a drink before flying up to a tree across William Street. "Wrong diocese!" I yelled after her. Old St. Vincent's was also locked... Odd. I thought old St. Vincent didn't get around much anymore.

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I'd be a blackguard and a cad, if I weren't so ineffectual. The less said "About Me", the better.