The aunt goes marching

August 17, 2006

A couple weeks ago, my aunt Beverly came out from Connecticut to participate in a hiking camp in the northern Cascade Mountains. She then hung out with us this past weekend before returning home.

In telling friends and family about her visit, I will use words like “low-key” and “uneventful.” That’s sort of an inside joke, since these adjectives apply equally well to most of my other social and leisure activities. In this case, however, “uneventful” was a welcome change from Beverly’s previous visit, during which I came closer to drowning than is generally advisable.

As a pre-wedding present in July of 2002, Beverly took me and my then-fiancee up to the San Juan Islands for a few days of outdoorsy fun. It was a wonderful, wonderful gift, and we all enjoyed ourselves … until the kayaking outing. The geographic details escape me, but the three of us were paddling around in a bay near the shore when I decided that it would be cool to try to use my kayak to stop an oncoming log being carried along by the current. Well, the log hit the kayak, causing it to overturn, which was OK except that I almost hit my head on the log and the nearby dock, which could have been disastrous. And to think that I pride myself on my intelligence!

This time around, rather than battling Mother Nature for survival, we watched a movie about others doing so: March of the Penguins. (Does this remind anyone of our Brokeback Mountain experience last month?) We also went to see the sound sculpture exhibit Trimpin: Klompen, which the host museum describes as follows:

Comprising 120 Dutch wooden clogs connected to a computer by concealed wires and suspended from the ceiling, Klompen is one of Trimpin’s most legendary sound installations…. In this sculpture, a percussive rhythm resonates throughout the gallery as the clogs perform a “dance” triggered by devices placed in their toes. A different rhythmic pattern ensues each time the sculpture is activated.

I’m not a big fan of either sculptures or clog dancing, but I was captivated by this particular combination of the two. Also, going to the exhibit seemed like a good way of enjoying the clogs from a safe distance. Those clogs once were logs, you know.

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