Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The persistence of memory

Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it
― Flannery O'ConnorWise Blood

A long, ugly fast downhill from Beechworth. A speeding car honks at me for riding outside the debris-ridden shoulder. On the car side of the white line. I yell back, bearish on all humankind.

At least the terrain is finally flat! I check the cue sheet, check it again. No turns for quite a while. Just keep on.

I've been trying to make time to Whitfield. To get there, we tack around Wangaratta and I have no expectation for anything to look familiar. It's been a long time. 

In the openness of the Ovens Valley, a tickling starts. A change in awareness. 

It doesn't look familiar, as much as I know it is familiar. This place, I know this place. In a nonverbal way, a re-cognition of something faint, but real. 

At any point in, say, the last 20 years if someone had asked for a description of this landscape it's doubtful I could have provided one. My perspective was from a bike riding to and from school, and town. Or from the back seat of a car. Never quite sure where I was. 

Still, it seems I know this place. The long, flat valley with gum trees lining the road, occasionally one standing alone in a field. The water tower against a huge sky in Moyhu. 

Everywhere we've been, it becomes a part of us.

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