Holland (3:26)

Cover of Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State

From Greetings From Michigan, The Great Lake State and 6 other releases

Sufjan Stevens on ‘Holland’ :

This was the summer it got so hot we put a fan in each window. At night we teamed up with the Palestinian students and stole tulips from Centennial Park. We used them as garnishes: we arranged bouquets on table ends and desktops.
We burned a wicker chair on the beach at night. We cooked steaks and pork chops on sticks over the fire. We went skinny-dipping. We huddled under the towels. We told stories about our fathers, about our first kiss, about that one uncle who was always drunk at family reunions.

We bought guitars and accordions and played them under blankets in the park. We tried to follow the Dutch dancers. We mowed lawns and stole flags from construction sites and kissed on the lips at the drinking fountain. We drank Boone’s Sangria and cried and cried and cried on the couch.
We sewed shirts for our friends, with decorative borders made from ribbons, with zippers, with billowing collars, with floral patterns. Nothing fit right. We went around shirtless, even the skinny ones, even the fat ones, even the ones with terrific arms and shoulders.
We took our time talking things out; we listened carefully, with a serious look. We prayed. We read Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. We tried very hard to understand this.
We went to a church that was in English and Spanish. We tried very hard to understand this.
We made omelets on the weekends. We whittled wood. We knitted hats. We smoked cigarettes. We gave each other gifts. Elaborate, handmade, complicated passive aggressive gifts.


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