At the end of 2011, we went to see the Statue of Liberty. We've lived in New Jersey for a year and a half and Remy and I had only glimpsed her from the car.

It was time.

Now, everyone who knows me knows I have a very complex relationship with patriotism. (Complex is rather an understatement, actually, but let's not get into that now.) The founding ideals of this country are so very dear to me that it is painful to see how far we are from realizing the dream of true democracy. Not to mention my own socialist ideals. I am a wounded optimist, which means the slide into cynicism is all-too-easy for me.

The Statue of Liberty touched that optimist idealist in me, especially after walking through Ellis Island, which was amazing. Truly amazing. 

I expected to be amazed by the grandeur, but what I truly felt that day was an immense sense of connection.

I am a child of immigrants. I know only the tiniest bit about that generation of my ancestors and where they came from and how they got here, but I know enough to know that it is entirely feasible that someone in my family passed through Ellis Island.

I am connected to history. To the history around me. Even the unknowing parts of my history are connected in me, through me.

And so I gave myself to the awe. I let myself breath in and out and be amazed.

I am connected. Yes, indeed.

 These photos were all taken on my iPod Touch, with various apps. When we were halfway from the parking lot to the ferry, I realized I had left my dslr's battery in the charger at home. Luckily, I had my iPod, because this was a day that I needed to document. I took over 300 photos of the ferry ride and the two islands.