Saturday, March 10, 2007

Safe at home!

The odyssey concludes...

A 3-hour drive from Columbia, SC brought me to the mountainside doorstep of my old friend and former grad school roomie D., who led me to an excellent little bistro in Sylva, NC called "Guadalupe" (the beer selection was outstanding, I can particularly recommend the "Duck-Rabbit" and "Highland" Porters). Then we took in a gorey movie I might rather have missed, "The 300." In this version of ancient Greek history, centering on the battle of Thermopolae, the blood-lusty, death-dealing Spartans never retreat, never surrender, commit collective suicide in the name of warrior "honor," and all the while are portrayed as exponents of reason and freedom. Times reviewer A.O. Scott said it was as violent as "Apocalypto" and twice as stupid. But it was nice to pay just $5 for a movie, even if I lost count of decapitations, eviscerations, and variations on the declaration that freedom isn't free. I'm betting this film is popular in the Bush White House.

A restful night's sleep, capacious breakfast, and much engaging conversation followed, and then I was on the road again, arriving safely home in mid-afternoon to a welcome greeting that confirmed the truism about absence and the heart. Before I had a chance to unpack a thing I was whisked off by my elder daughter to her baseball practice. It's good to be useful again.

My march through Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas topped 2,000 miles; the restorative value of it all was priceless. And it's great to be home.

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