On the Agenda

Monday, January 23, 2006

Were you raised in a barn?!

First of all I want to say that the headline of this artcle is particularly interesting in that it implies that living in a barn would not be a unique experience for other people.

BlackMountainNews.com - Living in a barn is unique experience for local couple

Anyway, this column, which is part of this week's Black Mountain News from Black Mountain, N.C., details the lifestyle of a Swannanoa valley couple who -- you guessed it -- live in a barn. It is a charming little place, and it is quite unique. Part of me would love to do something that unusual and fun, especially because it involves raising horses (and buffalo). The detail I like the most is how the stall doors for the horses are topped with wrought iron fencing from Lake Susan in Montreat, N.C., my home away from home. But this is not really the focus of my post, and if I say any more you won't read the article.

During the past week and a half I have been compiling a list of possible blog posts. I keep it in a simple text file on my desktop where I keep quite a number of lists, both important and igsignificant. And there's so much to say about all of the topics I've jotted (read: typed frantically) into this text file. I suppose the fact that there is so much to say and that I cannot decide which to write about is just an indication of the fact that I should post more often. Unfortunately, the second week of classes proved to be more difficult than I expected.

For example (talking about the list, not the difficulty), I came home one particularly restless night after a concert I went to. The concert featured Raplh Stanley and a local bluegrass band, and when I came home I composed four lines of that list. They read : "bluegrass; cultured; america (capitalized as such in my list forms) and; people watching." These mean that I wanted to talk about bluegrass music and why so many people are so adverse toward it. People view it as uncivilized, old-timey twang. Well, maybe that's what it is to a point, but for me, and for many people, I see it as a welcome respite in the face of increasing urbanization and globalization. I'm not saying I am against these two ideals, because I am in no way in opposition to them. Of course I take issue with a few of their facets, but that's another issue for another night. What I'm saying is that amid all this up-and-out stuff there's nothing wrong with remembering a past. A past that probably describes more of America than we care to think. The "cultured" part comes from the fact that I often feel more cultured by attending such events. Perhaps this sounds elitist, and perhaps it is. But that's what I wrote down and I can't remember my exact thought process at the time.

The people watching comes from me going to these events often alone -- and enjoy it that way. I love watching these older couples meeting all their friends at these functions. Some of the friends they haven't seen in months. Others they played bridge with last night and met at the Biscuitville this morning. They're just all so happy to simply be in one place with people they love. It's almost magical, and these events are the only place I can find it consistently.

The other things on the list involve certain recent discussions and events and will not be discussed further tonight. Suffice it to say that God puts people in your life for a reason, all of them. They make you see things you wouldn't have seen otherwise, and they let you be you all over again. And for that tonight, I am truly thankful.

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