Saturday, February 18, 2012

Contact

On a glorious spring-ish day, I headed out on a bike ride through DC.  I biked down into Rock Creek park and meandered down its curved path that hugged the gentle river.  Past stone bridges and dead branches reflecting in the crystal stream and past old cemeteries with graves in symmetry on the green hill.  I sucked on a snus like a hard candy sucker turned teabag of sweet juice.  It oozed frosted nicotina goodness out of its lace pouch and into my chaw.  Georgetown towered spires like a central European hamlet of memory, the Vlatava-upon-the-Potomac.  The Waterfront looking like a mini modern Alexandria.  Panta rhei- everything flows, as Borges taught.   Still water looking to run deep.

Everything looks perfect from far away.
-Iron and Wine, "Such Great Heights"

I made my way past monuments and through the Smithsonian to the Native American Museum.  I stopped in the cafe for the fry bread, which I covered in pickled beat and bandera salsa of onions and tomato chunks and cotija cheese.

Contact changes the world


Tobacco changes the world


Potatoes change the world


Chocolate changes the world


Corn changes the world


The walls bore reminders of what was and what changed.  The exhibit was quite good, recounting like the pre-and post-Colombian world.

Disease changed the world. 900 conquistadors changed the world

There was a passage I found to be a poignant reminder:
The first 150 years of Contact witnessed one of the greatest transfers of wealth in world history.   What Galleano would call veina abeirtas.

Horses changed everything, and there was an interesting exhibit on the role in which horses became part of Native American culture.  I always find it fascinating that one of the most dominant images associated with Native American life is a result of that Contact.

I biked back through the city, cutting up and over blocks before I hit 16th street and headed straight back up to my barrio.  Off tonight for a night of Beethoven and Strauss.


1 comment:

Abba said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_%28novel%29