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Somewhere a mountain is moving

February 21, 2013

We are back from Washington.  I wrote a big, long, rambly post on the train about it, but I left it on my work laptop and now the office server is down and I can’t get to it, so I’ll have to post it later, by which point I’ll probably have thought better of it.

But it was, in fact, a nice and interesting trip.  Thought provoking too, in ways I didn’t expect.

It was nice to be back at the office today.  It’s also nice to have a job where you actually like coming back from vacation.  I’m swamped, but swamped with interesting things.  Tomorrow I have to take a toymaker to lunch and talk about music.  Life is hard.

Mr. Spy is out at a book party.  Remember that apartment where I used to stay back when I was flying all the time?  The one with all the paintings and the stacks of paper and the words tacked to the walls?  Well, all those papers and all those words are now a book and the book is out and it’s good and it’s doing really well.  It was reviewed in the paper of record this week and will be reviewed by it again in the big fat paper one of these weekends.  I am in the middle of it, reading it as I go back and forth on the subway. I’ve seen bits of it before, taped to the wall over the air mattress that served as my bed for half of a long year.  It’s funny to read a book where you know nearly everyone in it where you’re in some of the scenes, but just outside the margin of the photo.  Many of the stories he tells I’ve heard before, around family tables or standing in funeral parlors or in noisy restaurants.  Others I haven’t heard but are backed up by things I know to be true.  Still others are entirely new.  I don’t know quite what to make of it and I can’t possibly be objective, but I still think it’s a good read. I am sad not to be at the party, parked instead at the kitchen table with a cartload of groceries I’ve only half put away.  But Mr. Spy needs to get out too.  It’s his turn tonight. 

I am thinking of the robot, the tiny robot in that apartment the size of my thumb with a tinier clock in his steel-clad belly.  I miss that apartment and the time and space it gave me for a year.  People are always telling me how glad I must be not to be flying all the time, and mostly I am. But the truth is, sometimes I miss it.  It was exciting to always be going somewhere with permission to reimagine yourself a thousand times a day just because nobody was watching. 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2013 10:02 pm

    One of the hardest adjustments for me with this new job (not the hardest, just one of them) was not traveling 80%+. I really miss that. I don’t know that I have nearly enough imagination to re-imagine myself a thousand times a day, but maybe a few times? Either way, I miss it.

  2. February 22, 2013 8:04 am

    That is one of the best lines I’ve ever read here–permission to reimagine yourself a thousand times a day just because nobody was watching. Working at home in an empty house can give you that, too, in a limited way.

  3. February 22, 2013 10:59 am

    That last part: yes.

  4. February 26, 2013 12:44 pm

    I liked the book — but I’m a sucker for memoirs. I read somewhere once that all Kafka wanted to read was biographies. I think the author surmised he was trying to figure out how to live a life. It’s an interesting question.
    Also, I bet you do miss that time. It sounded very exciting at the time. I love travelling, too, maybe for the same reason.

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