Saturday, July 11, 2009

Home Again

Travel is broadening (especially, given how we tend to take all our meals in restaurants, about the beam), but I’m glad to be home again with all the requisite constraints on my psyche that being back to my usual way of doing things affords; I don’t think I’d be a very good fulltime explorer; I’d want, sooner than not, to be sleeping in my own bed, with my own pillow, and drinking coffee I’d made out of my favorite mug.

I recently finished reading Stephen Ambrose’s Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis and the Opening of the American West; it’s a thrilling story—poignant and tragic, too, at the end, when Lewis takes his own life—and even though, as Ben the Angry Hippy put it, being out on an expedition like that would mean you’d have something to write about every day on your blog, I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have been happy on the Corps of Discovery. I think I’d rather have been hanging around Monticello with Thomas Jefferson, especially given the diet of the men on the journey, which—at its best from their point of view—consisted of something like nine pounds of meat a day.

Back here in Seattle, in my own little Monticello—where I play the part of the dumbwaiter, I guess—I’m looking forward to a few weeks of uneventful living, which, I hope, will entail some writing, some bicycle riding, a bit of yoga, perhaps a barbecue or two, a fair number of margueritas, a solid component of sitting in a chair reading and napping, and maybe even a household chore should the spirit take me.

The only downside of this, as I can see it, is having to answer the dreaded question, “what have you been up to?” Maybe I’ll just have to make something up; I can tell people that I’ve been exploring the American West, looking for an all water route to the Pacific; not much, really.


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