Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salt Lake City 8.4.01: Blithe Cheerfulness and Aggrieved Messianism

Salt Lake City: that blithe cheerfulness, inhabited at its depths by that scary mix of puritanism, aggrieved messianism, and patriarchy.

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I have no idea, this go-round, what I expect to find at the LDS library. I suppose I should look to 1) new finds I’ve made since last visit and how to explore them more; 2) what moves my soul What do I expect to find?

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Head o’ hair, he kept saying. And I didn’t know if I’d heard right, or if so, what it could mean. The girls left their heads o’ hair the night before they went off to Amerikay. There’s a trunk full of them upstairs. We’ve plenty of them, year by year. Toothless, thick Northern brogue: perhaps he meant something altogether different.

And then he showed me: old plaits, snaked like silk one around another, red, blond, and brown, the final scrap of blood and bone an Irish mother claimed, her daughters sailed forever gone over seas.

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