Thursday, May 31, 2012
You know, there's more than one Petrified Forest in this great country of ours—possibly a whole bunch, but I'm only aware of two and I've been to one of them. This sack of what looks like poop comes from the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona via an estate sale in San Antonio, where it was purchased to appease a pair of shrill children. That's the more famous Petrified Forest, which is also the setting for the claustrophobic hostage noir of the same name, starring a lovely Bette D., a scary Humphrey Bogart and a milquetoasty Leslie Howard, who never did a damn thing for me (and that's coming from a major anglophile).
I went to the less famous Petrified Forest, in Calistoga, California, on the same wedding trip ten years ago that I mentioned yesterday. (I also went to the less famous geyser named Old Faithful while there.) Funny how a whole passel of memories can be wrapped up in an object. I can't look at the alligator plate or this sack of petrified wood without thinking back on that most excellent moment in time: We were two years married, housed in our first house, gainfully employed, well-dressed and poised on the precipice—within the year, I'd be pregnant and things would change in ways both expected and unexpected. As for the wedding, the happy couple didn't stay married; other wedding guests, who were together but not married, are no longer together. Still others, single and on the prowl, are married with children. Jobs have changed, relationships changed but I think I'm still friends with everybody (at least on Facebook!). Sometimes it takes a sack of millennia-old wood to be reminded that everything is moving, changing, even when time often feels like it's at a standstill.