Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Unexpected Singularity

Our friends went for the Full Virginia: from the beach to a mountaintop and--of course--the sweet hill country in between.

We had just said goodbye to some dear friend visitors from New York and to chase away the sadness, I went for a run through the neighborhood and down into the woods. I was met by a feeling I did not expect.

As I rolled through the hills, amidst the yellow storm of pollen; past the banks of iris; along brick sidewalks and faux-brick painted asphalt crosswalks that light up and make cars stop; past farm houses and Belmont Bungaloes, stacks of spare construction materials; hearing country music, rock-and-roll, blues and young couples arguing about sex; smelling wisteria, honeysuckle and barbeque; giving and receiving suggestive glances; in an arena defined by surrounding mountains, old-seeming roads, and walls of poison ivy, I was keenly aware of how singular this place is.

By showing my friends around my favorite places, I quite naturally focused on what's good and what's unique. I had a wonderful time just spending time with them and stay-cationing in a place that's just as great to visit as to live. It was a good reminder of what I love and how well we live.

As I cruised back to my happy little house, seat of my happy life, the echoes of my friends laughter were waiting of course but there was something else: a refreshing contentment, as if waking from a good nights sleep on a bright, clear morning.

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