We made our way up river by various boats. This was mountain jungle but it was by no means unvisited. Taking people to visit Angel Falls was a thriving business. In some parts of the river, where it was wider and tamer, we traveled in larger boats.
The closer we came to the falls, however, the river required a smaller, more maneuverable vessel.
It was in these narrower boats that we traveled on the second day.
As the river narrowed, we came closer to the rock outcroppings that lined the river, mountain tops shrouded by clouds and fog, visages of old travelogues that shaped my childhood imagination.
"In the deep heart of this high river paradise lie mysterious mountains where live primitive tribal people who have never been visited by the outside world, people who have hunted with poisoned arrows and blowguns since time immemorial."
* * *
The rest of this will have to wait until tomorrow. I searched high and low on every hard drive that I have for the old scans of the Angel Falls trip, but they are nowhere. So I dug out the box of slides I took on that trip and scanned about twenty-five of them yesterday, preparing the slides, starting the scans, then going back to the machine digitizing my old movies (that is going REALLY slowly), then to the kitchen to work on Easter dinner. It was a hectic morning and at some point, I thought I was losing it completely. I tried to take a walk, but my knee was absolutely screaming before I got half a mile. I had told my mother that I would set up the old projector and show her some films, but it seemed too much. My hands were shaking. I felt I had started cooking the roast too late, so I browned it on the stove top in the Dutch oven, then added the bone broth and wine and let it cook for a bit before putting it into a 425 degree oven that I hoped was o.k. and not too hot. I was running from room to room, as I used to say, like a rooster with his legs cut off. I jumped into the shower half an hour before my mother was to arrive. I hadn't bathed all weekend. I got dressed, then poured a glass of wine and sat out on the deck. Wait, I thought--table cloth. For some reason, I have a round one that fits the big glass top table there. Good. Now I could relax, sort of.
Nobody showed up on time. Half an hour later, I was texting.
We sat with drinks for a bit, then I took the roast out of the oven and removed the potatoes and onions and carrots. I cut the roast.
No kidding. . . I can really cook.
We ate outside on a cool, gray day. There was a slight breeze. It was perfect.
Deserts--apple pie and lemon cake. Whiskey.
It was still daylight when everything was eaten and the kitchen cleaned and put away. And it was still daylight when the party was over and everyone gone.
More scanning, more digitizing film. Later, I opened the scanned slides in Lightroom and Photoshop and in a couple other programs, too, and began working on them. I don't do this as often as I used to. I forget how much time it takes, how slowly it goes. I was getting worn out with it, and there were still a slew of them to do. But I was done. I couldn't. And so. . . I don't have the images I want to illustrate my narrative. Hence. . . we will wait.
It wasn't early. It wasn't late. But I was worn out with the day. I sunk into the couch and turned on the television. Random suggestions from YouTube brought me to the 1972 first ever episode of "Midnight "Special." I clicked on it. It looked just like the films I'd been digitizing from my college years. I didn't intend to watch it, but I got sucked in. The music. . . it wasn't horrible. The audio production values were good. I've gotten too emotional lately, listening to too much emo music while working with all my past. Too much is rising up. Still. . .
Today after my trip to the Physical Fitness Club, I will go back to work, finishing up the mulch work and maybe painting more of the fence. This week we get a break in the weather. It will be much cooler than last week. I want to get this painting done before we dive back into summer.
There is leftover roast. My mouth is watering.