Travelers Rest

by Justin Gordon

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about

There's a place in the hills of southeastern Ohio where a person can live a simple life, sleeping in a cabin, hauling water and growing vegetables, drinking the neighbor's moonshine and eating their venison in exchange for some small engine repair.

In September, the back side of everything turned to the wall is covered in Japanese beetles, and the mice gnaw their way through the chestnut timbers in winter to stay out of the cold and frozen mud and eat the leavings in the long darkness of January. In the spring, the chickweed grows so fast you can cut it with scissors every afternoon and have enough for salad. In the summer, the pawpaw tree spreads its languid branches over muddy sandstone creeks and mold grows on your boots. The fireflies take shelter in the trees along the hollows at night, lighting in unison from tree to tree and marking their forms in the dark so that a person can walk barefoot in the balmy darkness down the farm road in a thrum of cicadas without a flashlight.

I only found out about the war after a day of clouds and no solar to run the radio. Switching it on, I was pulled by my shirtfront out of my little hollow and back into the modern world. This record was an attempt to deal with that or at least harvest it for later.

credits

released October 15, 2004

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Justin Gordon Athens, Ohio

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