By Sarah Manguso
Love not the rider but the old rider,
the ghost in the saddle: Obey that ghost.
A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.
But we are not good horses.
We bolt. We stand still in bad weather.
We rely on things we know are unreliable,
it feels so good just to rely.
We are relied on.
But I do not know who knows that bad secret.
I do not see who sits astride my back,
who cuts my flank so lovingly on our way to the dark mountain.
We had a relatively calm Wednesday. Adam's best friend is off to Niagara Falls for a week and came over in the morning to say goodbye. We went to California Tortilla for lunch because they were having a giveaway event with everyone getting coupons and free food and stuff; I also got a light-up chili pepper necklace, hee. Plus the post office delivered my Transparent Tarot, which is exactly as amazing as it sounds. (I haven't tried reading with it yet, I just played with the cards a bit to see the imagery and how it overlays -- I use Tarot for brainstorming/blockbusting rather than divination, and it seems like the perfect deck for creative visualization.)
Rock City originated Wall Drug-type advertising on billboards with the proclamation, "See Seven States!"
The boys under the famous "thousand-ton balanced rock" along the garden trail.
They were more enthusiastic about the swinging bridge, which offers terrific views of Chattanooga as one walks to Lover's Leap.
Rock City Gardens has an enclosure with white fallow deer...
...and a raptor show with this barred owl, plus a screech owl, a vulture that follows the guide around the audience, a bald eagle and more.
And in case the natural beauty is not enough, the Fairyland Caverns have a Mother Goose Village with blacklight-lit depictions of nursery rhymes.
Personally, I prefer the caverns in their natural state.
The kids and I rewatched two very good movies in the afternoon and at night because Daniel has been working on dystopian fiction for his summer reading: Equilibrium, which is wildly derivative and very silly in its plot but has great performances by Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Taye Diggs, and William Fichtner, and Minority Report, which has my favorite Tom Cruise performance by a long shot and some of my favorite Spielberg directing as well (the visual metaphor of the film is about eyes and not trusting what one sees, and there are some very interesting gimmicks related to that).