Well it’s half way through November
Time to start thinking about new year’s resolutions and I’m thinking 2017 can be the year to travel without traveling. For example, I can finally upload all my pictures of La Paz while humming La La La.
Of course, I will continue to travel to St Louis for work and we will continue to visit his family in Collingwood. But other than that, I can simply sit on my couch and read about an artist who wanders the streets of Oslo. Or watch movies of different places from different times.
My dad gave us a subset of his DVD collection and we started with Los Angeles: Altman’s Short Cuts. Because Carver’s writing is somewhat minimalist, I never imagined his characters to live in LA but somehow the setting really works. Instead of trying to describe the movie (the little stubbornness, the big cruelty and so on), I think a section of wikipedia captures the feel.
The following excerpt from Scott Driscoll’s review of Maryann Burk Carver’s 2006 memoir describes the decline of Maryann and Raymond’s marriage.
The fall began with Ray’s trip to Missoula, Mont., in ’72 to fish with friend and literary helpmate Bill Kittredge. That summer Ray fell in love with Diane Cecily, an editor at the University of Montana, whom he met at Kittredge’s birthday party. “That’s when the serious drinking began. It broke my heart and hurt the children. It changed everything.”
“By fall of ’74”, writes Carver, “he was more dead than alive. I had to drop out of the Ph.D. program so I could get him cleaned up and drive him to his classes”. Over the next several years, Maryann’s husband physically abused her. Friends urged her to leave Raymond.
“But I couldn’t. I really wanted to hang in there for the long haul. I thought I could outlast the drinking. I’d do anything it took. I loved Ray, first, last and always.”
Carver describes, without a trace of rancor, what finally put her over the edge. In the fall of ’78, with a new teaching position at the University of Texas at El Paso, Ray started seeing Tess Gallagher, a writer from Port Angeles, who would become his muse and wife near the end of his life. “It was like a contretemps. He tried to call me to talk about where we were. I missed the calls. He knew he was about to invite Tess to Thanksgiving.” So he wrote a letter instead.
“I thought, I’ve gone through all those years fighting to keep it all balanced. Here it was, coming at me again, the same thing. I had to get on with my own life. But I never fell out of love with him.”
Next Part of the Traveling without Traveling Itinerary
London: LeRoy’s Waterloo Bridge
Paris: Truffaut’s Last Metro