On Sunday, Jan. 4, I entered another major phase of sabbatical: research-travel mode. I will be in Washington, DC for the months of January and February, spending down fellowships from the US Capitol Historical Society and Smithsonian Institution in pursuit of a story about the dome of the Capitol.
It’s a major shift from being camped out at home and working on a well-worn manuscript, to start digging in again–if not to completely new material, definitely with new questions. And being away from home presents its own challenges and opportunities. Seems appropriate to post with another of Cole’s paintings, although this third one in the series, “Manhood,” is pretty ominous. Cole himself described it as “the gloomy, eclipse-like tone, the conflicting elements, the trees riven by tempest, are the allegory; and the Ocean, dimly seen, figures the end of life, which the Voyager is now approaching.” Hopefully that’s a slight exaggeration of what I will face, simply relying on the DC Metro to get around, and hoping that librarians and archivists can dig up the needful documents for this next project.