|After lots of big wide open spaces, we arrived in the Windy City!|
|And then there's taste-space -- fois gras chocolates for dessert at Roister. OBSCENELY TOO MUCH.|
But this last week was the best manifestation of these concepts I've ever experienced.
I've had so much free thought (and super-weird free-association dreams). Hours upon gloriously silent hours in the car while sitting as a passenger through South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and tonight, Ohio. 5 new states for me (I only need 14 more to get a complete set!) and a world of internal musing and observation.
|I'd never driven in to Illinois before!|
|One of many random highway art installations.|
|Corn. SO. MUCH. CORN.|
|The Memorial Union on the lake in Madison, WI.|
The nature of friendship has been a big center of thought for me on this trip. I feel E&I growing closer every day as we sit in silence for hours on end and share conversations and tidbits when we feel like it. The level of intimacy and sharing is the maximum that introverts could have, and yet, it is predicated upon shared physical space and time. Without the shared resources of place and time, we would not be as close. Period.
|Roister Fried Chicken. Amazing.|
I've also thought quite a bit about historical travel. While I can keep in touch via cell phone, social media, etc, historically, those who had the souls of nomads (like me) had to choose to leave and abandon their loved ones in order to experience adventure. This choice between (proximal) human connection and adventure actually still exists today, albeit in a more minor form. The reality is, by taking the life route I've chosen, by making this trip, I've essentially become a bit (even more?) of an expat. There are very few people in the region I consider my "home" who have chosen a life like the one I've chosen this year. I have selected distance from them, both in terms of physical distance and time, and also, emotional and mental distance. Me and my obvious normative cohort have less and less in common every time I choose something that is not the norm for my region/demographic/gender/etc. Much like those who chose to Go West back in the day, or those who leave their home countries for foreign adventure or just re-integration elsewhere, I find myself feeling like I have less and less in common with most of the people I used to think of as *my people*.
|View up the Chicago River from Lake Michigan.|
A long weekend in Chicago with family reminded me, yet again, that shared physical time/location really is one of the most important sources of human closeness. I feel very blessed to have married into an extremely cool family. 3 days of walking (urban-hiking 8ish miles is exhausting!), eating, drinking and laughing with them reminds me that despite my unique choices, I still have people in my tribe who are close to me and with whom I can share important memories, we just have to seek each other out and make the effort to compromise on time/locations/logistics, ideally finding a solution that is realistically workable and psuedo-comfortable for all of us that meshes into a wonderfully awesome meld that wouldn't otherwise exist.
And, on the obligatory workout report, mileage for last week with hiking, running, and walking/sight-seeing was a respectable 30.88 plus several workouts including upper body and core.
Missing the end of tomato season in California - BT.