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Update from the Middle

December 16, 2013

I am suspended at some height above the mountains below. I am some way between San Francisco and Newark NJ.

I haven’t been writing the updates, because my energy levels have been depleted a little bit – I’ve had a number of very enjoyable days, but at the end of them I’d not find myself feeling up to writing, or even sorting through the photographs. (I’ve probably been taking too many photographs.)

I’ve been ‘traveling alone’ in some ways, but in many others I’ve not been alone at all. In Ann Arbor, I was well taken care of by Darrell (especially since I was ill on one of the days). In San Francisco, I was lucky enough to have great hosts both before and after the short trip to Santa Barbara. In my first stretch in San Francisco, I would come ‘home’ to the Shapiro family house in Pacifica after a full day of walking in San Francisco, and it would really feel like a home. In my second stretch, I satisfied pretty much all my food cravings in a big way, courtesy of Jerel’s knowledge of the best Asian food around Berkeley and San Francisco. I had fried rice, Taiwanese-style fried chicken pieces, bubble tea, dim sum, and xiao long bao, which were all amazing, and which happened within the span of a day-and-a-half.

At the same time, I’ve really enjoyed some of the days I would walk by myself all over the cities of Chicago, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. There’s nothing much to it, in that I’d just roam and drift in the approximate direction of the next tip. I think the best days were when I’d find myself in a good rhythm between being relaxed enough to roam properly, and being focused enough to feel purposeful. I think I’m not describing it exactly right, and so I’ll attempt to describe the good memory that stays with me, which was that it was liberating to not feel as though I needed to worry about getting somewhere or doing something, while still managing to go to places and do things.

At the moment, though, I’m feeling a little as though I’ve lost track of the plot and need to get ahold of it again. I feel slightly uneasy about the vague possibility that I’ve had a glut of experiences and that some of it will therefore be a waste. (Or perhaps it’s just all the Asian food I had in the past 36 hours, and the apprehension that it’ll be a long time before I have anything close.)

I’ve been in some great places (including what is now my favorite coffee shop in the world) and met many people I’ve been very glad to be with, so it’s been pretty great. Overall, though, I guess I feel like this is a good point to consolidate and deal with some work.

I am en-route to the home of some family relatives living in Warren, New Jersey. Between now and when term starts at Carleton I hope to see Jono in New York, and am scheduled to meet Tim in Boston (and possibly some other USP people). I am slightly under-prepared for the trip north, but here’s to things working out.

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  1. 20 December 2013 at 1:37 pm

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