“To live here you should be a friend of rain,
and fifty with a bad job on the freights,
knowing the freeway soon will siphon
the remaining world away
and you can die unseen among your photos—
swimmers laughing but the day remembered cold.”
—Richard Hugo, from “What the Brand New Freeway Won’t Go By,” Death of the Kapowsin Tavern (1965)
As I wondered a few posts ago, it looks as if I will be leaving Seattle—and in just a few weeks. As for many far from here, Seattle entered my imagination in the early nineties through the music spreading loud and dirty from here like a swollen, silted river. This photograph, taken just the other day, seems more of then than my era, where rising cultural movements have been overtaken by luxury condos and unjust rents. I’ve loved it nonetheless—especially the beauty of the region, as evoked decades earlier in the writing of Richard Hugo. But did I, during my eight years here, became a “friend of the rain,” as Hugo says? Legendary for outsiders, the rain is stoically ignored by locals. Even to me it just, after a while, became another part of the air, the way certain differences between now and then, elsewhere and here, can seem to disappear.
6 thoughts on “The Remaining World Away”
Thanks, Emily. East to Boston. A change, but should be fun, too. Best wishes.
Beautiful words, Chris! And a picture which looks like it was from another era. Where to next?
Will do. And thanks for the well wishes and for keeping up with my posts. Looking forward to keeping up with yours.
Well, I hope you’ll continue to post photos with words. I like the way you combine the two. Good luck, wherever you’re going.
So true. It’d be much easier to leave on a dismal December day, but that’s not our fate. I’ll miss it in every season. Cheers.
I hope you’ll wait until the rain returns before leaving. Seattle is so great in the summer!