Side long

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It’s subtle, almost imperceptible;

The sense you’re being measured.

 

It’s not malicious; it may not be conscious,

And it’s not the metric of any ruler or scale.

Rather it’s based on history.

 

Not world history; not even your history,

But a history of pain and joy;

A history of violence and caresses;

A history of anticipation, both eager and dread.

 

It’s a measurement made during a moment’s pause;

Through a renegade lock of hair;

In a side-long glance rather than challenging stare.

 

We measure the people we meet,

Seeking solace that this one’s different,

Checking for warning echoes of past sorrows.

Hoping for the best. Wary of the worst.

 

I am measured. You are measured. And yet,

The result speaks more of the measurer than the measured.

Rip Van Winkle lives here

While visiting Louisiana last week, my friend Mike and I visited the Rip Van Winkle Gardens, an estate turned tourism site founded by Joseph Jefferson in 1870, in large part funded by his success in turning the story of Rip Van Winkle into a world-traveling stage play. And that’s where all references to Rip Van Winkle end.

The estate is beautiful, although the weather and time of year conspired to make the gardens a tad underwhelming. That being said, I did manage to grab a few photos.

The trip offered a bonus, however, for my friend Mike, who is into what I call “disaster porn”.

The estate abuts Lake Peigneur, the site of an incredible engineering disaster when an oil rig on the lake drilled accidentally into a salt mine. You have to watch the video below to truly appreciate the scale of the disaster.

Faces of Washington

For as much fun as someone can have in Washington, DC, there is a certain stoicism that residents have as they walk the streets, braced against the cold and wet of Spring.

I have tried to capture some of the emotions that ride just below the surface.