Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Vanta C sits atop a hill, surrounded by boulders up to twenty feet tall, overlooking miles and miles of New Mexican desert. It's so quiet that when you actually stop to listen your ears hurt so badly that you worry for a moment that they might burst. Low clouds roll over the dark mountains in the distance as the sun falls toward the horizon. The sky goes from deep bright blue to lavender, then flashes orange and red as it sinks below the earth. Hundreds of more articulate folks than me have attempted and failed to describe the sunset over the desert. This phenomenon, like love, resists encapsulation by our limited words. It is indescribable. Even a photograph, taken by the most expensive camera fails to do it justice. I'll stop when I'm ahead, then. All I will say it that it was the kind of sunset which forces you to realize that love is all around you, even when you're alone. It forces you to know in the deepest depths of your being that no matter how bad things get in your life, there is always, always something to be profoundly happy about.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Last night, after nine hours of driving, I ate dinner at a Flying J truck stop in El Paso, Texas. If you're an RVer like me, the Flying J truck stops are your best friend. They pump propane, which is amazingly tricky to find when you don't use the exchangeable bottles. They have RV sewer dump stations and fresh water for filling your tank. They allow overnight RV parking, have clean showers, and stock a wide variety of Pringles and personalized flashing mini liscense plate keychains.
Friday, December 19, 2008
The last couple of states I have been cradled in friendship, surrounded by temporary, new, and even some old friends. These impromptu alliances are one of the things that make the Vantasy special. While I've temporarily lost communication with some of my best friends in Portland, it's been neat to see the space they've left filled by unexpected folks. Most of these are people who I spend maybe one special day with and will probably never see again. I keep feeling like I should be getting tired of having single-serving friends like this, but there's a open-minded freedom and intimacy to these relationships that long-term friendships don't always have. We don't expect much from each other, we don't get worked up over missed phone calls, we don't really care if we have a lot in common. Our job is just simply to enjoy time together and learn about each other. We try each other's lives on for a short time and see what happens.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I got married on June 28th, 2003 in a backyard overflowing with blooming flowers in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I was 24 years old and my husband was the greatest man alive. A genius, when we met Dan had just returned from an academic trip to China and Europe, where he studied circus arts. He'd been awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship, and used the money following all sorts of off-beat circuses around; he even started his own in Sweden. I had just returned from my study abroad trip to Sydney, still dizzy from flying halfway around the world, when we met on my first day of work at a coffee shop in Ann Arbor and talked about our love of travel in the dim pre-dawn light over the smell of fresh brewed coffee.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
"If you gave me several million years, there would be nothing that did not grow in beauty if it were surrounded by water."
Jan Erik Vold, 1970
Air plants drip from the giant oak trees that spread out above the Savanah streets. They hang in tendrils, soaking up moisture from the air. Their abundance suggests that they are doing a good job, but my sticky skin and the formation of gills on my neckline suggest that they have a way to go before Georgia runs out of moisture. It's not hot, but my skin is vinyl on bare legs in the summer, sticking to everything, fooling me into believing that I'm sweating. Downtown Savannah is an underwater burg, where pedestrians swim instead of walking, and greet each other with drowned silences, only an Oh of bubbles escaping their parted lips as they pass each other in front of centuries old buildings.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Warning to family members: if you don't want to see a drawing of me naked, then don't look at the photo at the end of this post. On the other hand, it is just a drawing, so it might not be creepy at all. It's not like it's really me or anything!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Family time is usually challenging for me. I grew up in the cornfields in a big, evolving family of siblings, half-siblings, step-siblings, temporarily adopted siblings, parents, and step-parents. Sometimes I think I grew up in a family of black sheep, and if that's true than I'm not black at all, but sparkly rainbow-colored. When I graduated college, I saw no place for me here in Michigan, and even though I love my family, I had to leave. I'm not sure if it happened in high school, college, or after I left, but we drifted apart. Physically and emotionally.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Though it's decidedly time to head south, following the birds to warmer lands, I have one more friend to visit, who lives in Corning, New York. I wave goodbye to Michigan and hello to the Buckeye State, planning to make my way through Amish country and Pennsylvania forests to New York, stopping to visit my Aunt and Uncle at their home near Cleveland.