December 10, 2011
Left SLO yesterday at 4:18….only 18 minutes late (but it was only my definition of on time so who cares?). I actually love to drive. There is a freedom and an emptiness that I like. The idea that I can go anywhere gives me a feeling of choice. I don't go anywhere, but I could if I wanted to. The emptiness has to do with the limitations that come with driving; I cannot read or watch a movie. I can not talk on the phone of work on my computer. In my car I can't even listen to the radio. I mostly just think in my car. Although I think a lot, not many moments am I forced to because there isn't anything else to do. So I thought. I thought of the work I have to do. Most immediately, the grading that is due on Tuesday at 4:00. Then there is getting ready for next quarter. Also the research for SUSTAIN and the NSF grants. not to mention, getting ready for Christmas….oh no! the anxiety was getting high especially when there are so many things to do and I can't do them because I am driving. I then noticed I had a Book on CD in my car, Beloved, by Toni Morrison, so I put that in so my mind could rest. It is really quite the fantastic book. Her writing is so beautiful. The time to San Francisco was very pleasant and went quickly.
I arrived at Erica's apartment at around 8:30. She is in the middle of studying for finals and her house is so clean and neat (see the picture of her closet), the by-product of too many law books to review. We use to call it "cleaning the grout." it seems that during finals week, the grout in the kitchen was unbearably dirty and needed immediate attention. But, it was so nice to see my daughter. She is so smart and thinks about things so well (or maybe it is that she thinks like me). We had some conversations about what it meant to "achieve" something. Dose achievement have a component of competition, being better than others? Does achievement mean you have to achieve by the cultural standards, or can you define you own achievement? Anyway, it was quite enjoyable to converse while eating take-out mexican food.
I went to bed, but of course couldn't sleep. I woke at 5:30 to get to my flight at 8:00am. that is were I am now. over the USofA in a plane full of people I don't know. I often think of what would it be like to be with these people in a situation were we needed each other. Something like an emergency. Who would lead, who would think? Who would cry? who would I be? what are their names? I kind of hope I never find out, but then again. The loneliness of this kind of travel is so evident. Sitting next to someone without speaking. I really don't want to talk to this person, but what is that?
I want to experience traveling alone so I am really trying to be present to the situation. To feel the togetherness or the loneliness. It is an experiment. I noticed this morning as I was repacking how many other people I think of. I remembered my good friend who packs her suitcase so tightly it is like a compressed brick. I don't think vacuum packing it could make it any tighter! I smiled when I thought of her and the times we traveled together on business. Maybe we are all connected by something we don't see or hear, but feel.
More to come.