WE all crowded into the cabin for Juliette’s brief presentation and she read this Quote to us, saying, “This is what we are all learning this year.”
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
WE made it to the train station at Alewife. WE made it to Boston, we walked to the Hostel. There were no earwigs. Marina’s aunt Maria was there, and Maria and Kiippy walked with us to the ICA. We window shopped, the boys did Parcour, we took up the whole sidewalk with our horde and accidentally pushed people into the sidewalk. We saw a quote by Sarah Grimke:
Kelsey saying that the fog and mist over Boston at night made it look like a dystopian city;
At theICA we saw a 15 foot sharpie drawing, paintings by de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Ben Shahn, Jacob Lawrence, and Franz Kline; scores by John Cage; poems by Charles Olson and Robert Creeley; models by Buckminster Fuller; and pots by Peter Vulcos;
We saw Mona Hartoum’s small exhibit, which provoked us and made us think new thoughts.
We saw her world, “van Gogh’s Back,” her iron reclining couch, a rug made of nails, and chrome christmas ornaments in the shape and pattern of hand-grenades. We required ourselves to look at art we weren’t sure we liked: and stayed looking at it long enough to like it, understand it, have intelligent thoughts about it.
We went to a Chinese hot pot restaurant for an experimental food tasting extravaganza, and with reckless abandon we ate squid, octopus, winter melon, quail eggs, taro root, bok choy, napa cabbage, beef balls, fish balls, dumplings, shrimp and other strange items. One extravagant table ordered, spam, crab, clams, hot tea, and Sam also ate a chair whilerunning the check through ceiling…thanks for paying, Tal.
At the Hostel we watched School of Rock, to relearn the old saw: You ain’t hard core unless you live hard core
The next morning we dined like civilized European travellers. Carl used the word “volumetric” and Tal, loving the word and the possible uses of it, used the word repetitively in the Science Museum until we filled up the back-pack bins with our stuff. In the Science museum we studied a vast topographical model of Mt. Everest; optical illusions, the differences between Macro and Micro photography; saw a 4D film with David Attenbrough—snowflakes, bubbles, water spray, bumps in back, wind, rumbling and flashing lights the melting of the polar ice caps and the impact on polar bears, penguins, and rising sea-levels; gazing with wonder again at a robotic cheetah and the 2080 year old Giant Sequoia slab;
IN the Common we ate Warm Repas sweet corn and cheese and had gourmet hotdogs. We walked in the public garden and listened to a man playing a chinese violin with one string.
We read Make Way for Ducklings by the pond, 24 middle schoolers in a tight little circle, and the ducks quacked right on que. We collected Pin oak and ginkgo leaves and we fed the ducks and saw sleeping drakes in the shade. We walked 14 miles or so over the weekend. Wyatt took 532 pictures. Maxine ran into a light post. We laughed a lot. 24 tired sleepy children got on the on T to Alewife. We walked down the up escalator, then road elevator to the top. When we went to our cars, there was a sun shower and then a Friday the 13 rainbow over the city of