Monday, October 29, 2012

Making It Real

This weekend we wandered (and by wandered, I mean took a long old drive) down to Pennsylvania.  We were hoping to catch the leaves changing, but knew that there was a chance that even heading south, we might miss them.  So we thought that to keep the folks and us entertained, we would go somewhere with alternatives, namely Amish country, and Gettysburg.  And those alternatives really were something else. 

I'm not going to go into it at length, yet - still processing - but Gettysburg was amazing.  We watched the Ken Burns Civil War documentary, but a lot of it jumbled together.  Nonetheless, Gettysburg stood out, and seeing the fields - with the seemingly haphazard memorials in fact accurately placed for each platoon, for a Confederate General's fall, for the line that the Army of Northern Virginia pierced but did not fully breach - brought home the scale and reality of it in a way that I had not previously been able to process. 

Nonetheless, the whole time, I had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that wanted to know what one of my favourite writers had said about Gettysburg.  I was sure he had visited; now I needed to know how he had processed it, his reactions.  And I think, as per usual, what he had to say is more interesting and useful, in many ways, than my own jumbled thoughts right now.  

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