"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Friday, November 03, 2006

Capitol Suspense

There was rain yesterday, no sleet, and the afternoon was sparkling bright. I drove to the capital city, to the State Capitol itself, to meet one of my (many) priest friends. Recently retired, he's the chaplain to our State Senate.

While walking the two blocks from the parking lot of the diocesan offices (where I had business), I made use of my camera. As the historical marker indicates, this building is historic. Those brick facades in the background are part of the equally historic Main Street.

In addition to being so long-used, the structure also houses the 3rd largest legislative body in the entire world. The other two are Britain's House of Commons, and U.S. House of Representatives.

The light wasn't so good for shooting from the front lawn, but here's a view from the back. I think it looks lovely from any vantage point.

Sometime on Tuesday night, I'll find out whether I will become one of the 424 state representatives, and receive the lavish stipend of $200 per 2-year session--a whopping $100 per year.

The cafeteria is located in the basement, where the halls of power are dim, warren-like, with electrical and furnace apparatus and rows of metal lockers reminiscent of a high school.

My friend and I enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation, touching on family and work, the connection between spirituality and philanthropy, bi-partisanship (my mantra), the tensions and taunts that characterise this campaign season, what changes Tuesday's election might bring--in our state and nationally.

He and I share the ambition to view the city vista from the cupola atop that glistening gold dome. I'm surprised, given his position, that he hasn't ever been up there. He's going to work his connections and make the necessary arrangements for access.

I can almost remember the first time I spotted the dome. It would've been over 20 years ago as we raced along the interstate, intent on getting to the cottage. Wherever I am in the city, it's a magnet for my eyes.

Today, I'm casting off political thoughts to focus on self-improvement and career matters. I've got a hairdresser appointment, and there's a promising development on the novel-writing front I must deal with in the afternoon.

Tomorrow night the Chap and I are having dinner with a different priest friend (a former monk). No, not everybody I hang out with is ordained, but this week it seems so!

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