He had come such a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it. But what he did not know was that it was already behind him, somewhere in the vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
I picked this American classic to read while sitting on the floor (no furniture) the last few days of our lives in Hood River. It's eerie and beautiful and somehow perfect for saying goodbye to the US.
We ran out of room and weight in our baggage. We each have three bags, one or two of which are overweight, the dog in a big cage, and Doug's golf club bag. I thought I would hate that bag since it is costing us plenty with Delta...but it's turning out to be the savior of my hiking boots.
I have always felt slightly foolish keeping touching cards and notes from people over the years. These memories are consigned to the mail to avoid the tears involved with seeing them in the trash. We have last minute banking and other post office duties to do, but mostly we are done. We had better be--we delivered our car to its new owner yesterday. We still have a few "goodbye" dates and lunches but most people are now in the "see you in Italy" stage of painless farewells.
...for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.