Oh, I needed today. I woke up late and lazed about in bed with cats, gathering that vacation day vibe. I had a lovely long lunch with R. and O., eating dosa and talking about the layers of history and memory everywhere, the messages sent by trees about where matters and who doesn’t, and arranging our next meetings–why not have a meeting tubing on a river, O. asked? Sometimes you find the right people, and oh, it feels lucky. Afterward it was finally time to take the bike out for a ride. I zipped down the hill, fast as could be, and then up and around and up and down and up again to Fort McHenry. Speaking of layers of memory, this place is remembering the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, of course, but it is also remembering the past and future, what with its statue of Orpheus and its experimental wetlands floating in the bay, marking both the past 300 years of poisoning the bay and today’s project to apologize. The different monuments focus attention away from the present; those giant military ships and signs of commerce and industry that makes those sweet new squares of wetland feel a bit disingenuous, throwing handfuls of grass into a tornado; the giant cement plant that reminds me that the road I pedal along is the product of extraction and reworking and I used to think the greatest sign of human hubris was the Panama Canal–who decides to just cut a path through continents?–but the paving of the earth is pretty damn impressive. I thought about these things as I pedaled along, but I also thought about this view, so pretty, a perfect sunny blue day, nowhere to be. I headed back the other way, a stop for errands and then to meet A. and K. for beer in the sun in Hampden, back to Charles Village for dinner with friends, down the hill for a fancy beverage with J., and over to Station North for some dancing before riding home to find a cupcake sitting on my doorstep, because this is pretty much the best summer ever. In a car or on foot I would have made maybe one of those stops, another reminder of the way a bike opens up the world, not to be dramatic or anything.
Spent some time at Ft McHenry recently. Imagine what it felt like to be the next line of defense after Washington fell. This sounds like a perfect, well-spent day.