Thursday, March 10, 2011
I am a southern man. Give me some tight Levis, a fine pair of boots and now, thanks to my girlfriend, a form fitting long sleeve Henley and I am alright. I like my tea sweet, believe in southern charm and kindness and even a little southern draw. There are many things about the south that are negative but I find that to be the case most every place I have been. No matter how far I go and what I may be doing the south is always on my mind, and most recently my belly. After having spent 6 month working in the mountains I managed to shed 40lbs but after having spent 1 month back in the south I managed to acquire about 10 extra pounds of baggage for my trip. I have had many an acting professor and director try to get the country out of my accent. Many times I feel they and I have succeeded but I know it is still there and it doesn't really bother me. I mention this because I found myself in a discussion about the south here with the family I am visiting. It is a peculiar thing to not have your accent recognized as other than American. I was asked to describe how a southern accent is different than just an American. I. There is where I start, the I. I show how somehow the I becomes its own word with a word. I try to describe a scenario where you can envision a long and slow moving, stagnantly hot and humid, July night from the front porch of a house somewhere on some farm in nowhere Kentucky. The sound of the summers echo loud above the sound of footsteps on the old wooden floor. Here, in this world, it takes just a bit longer to say our vowels because we have no where to be and a world that is moving slowly around us, why not our words as well. They seem to find this amusing and I'm sure hard to understand as it only ever reaches 77 degrees in the summer and the winters are as long as a baptist preachers Sunday. Here, amidst all this snowy white, I think of the green of Kentucky and Tennessee. I think of cavity inducing McAllister's sweet tea over a conversation with Shannon in New Orleans and I think of how,, regardless of the negative, I am proud to be a southerner. I strive to be a souther gentleman. The Swedish lifestyle, aside from the mass quantities if heart-clogging good food, is much akin to the southern lifestyle. The people are very welcoming and inviting and that same southern kindness can be found from nearly everyone. There will be no long and sweat filled summer by the creek, there will be no Dreamland ribs or collard greens but I am finding that the food and the people are all very nice. I am glad to be starting my journey here.