I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore, Toto….Or Are We?: Everyday Magic, Day 253

The call came at 4 p.m. yesterday: would I jump on a plane today and come back to Vermont to teach in Goddard’s BFA in Creative Writing program for a week? I stared at the phone in disbelief for a while. It’s almost spring in Kansas, the skies are supposed to clear and the temperatures on the rise, and Vermont? Wasn’t I just there five weeks ago?

Sometimes a gal has to make a crazy-fast decision with her gut, but in my case, there were opposing forces involved. My inner worker bee said, “Go!” My inner take-good-care bee said, “No!” I let them negotiate as I called several friends and Ken, talking out loud with these good witnesses. Eventually, the bees buzzed a solution: Go but take good care. Rest and replenish. Rent my own car and take little road trips up solitary mountain roads (when they’re not covered with mud and snow). A few more calls, some fast manuvers on the computer, and it was arranged.

The plane flight — could that be a relaxing venture…..ever? I tried to breathe slowly, inhale aromatherapy oils and read trashy magazines while chanting little lullabies. Despite the aerobic workout at the Detroit airport when I had to run non-stop for 20 minutes from Gate A28 to C17 to leap order viagra cialis online onto the little puddle-jumper to Vermont, it was actually somewhat serene.

The rental car turned out to have 182,999 less miles on it than my car at home, and a sunroof and XF radio, so I drove happily, switching between Springsteen, Indigo Girls, Showtunes, 40s Music and BBC news.

Now that I’ve arrived — unpacked and readying myself for a dinner (that I didn’t have to cook, thank you very much) — I’m just starting to stop the spinning of whether it was the right choice to go. Last night, after all was arranged, I had a pang of regret, not wanting to leave my beloved home. But once I turned into the Goddard parking lot, the sun illuminating everything so that even the mud glowed silver, I realized I was home here too. This sense of home is so familar that when I stopped at supermarket on the way here, a woman I didn’t know but who looked like someone in Lawrence walked up to me and said, “Can you believe it’s supposed to snow again?”

I smiled at her and said, “No, it’s just crazy, isn’t it?”

I don’t know in my soul if I’m in Vermont or Kansas, or where the heck Toto is, but I know home when I feel it.

West Into Winter: Everyday Magic, Day 147

Coffee in the cup-holder, books to sell piled in the passenger seat, and down coat over layers of clothes (down to the season’s first outing for the cuddle-duds), I headed west early this morning. The sun was bright, the sky clear, and the air void of any warmth whatsoever. I turned up the music, pushed down the gas petal, and flew soon enough past the usual Lawrence-to-Topeka jaunt, then through the northern wrap-highway of Topeka, to where the land begins to ungulate, rise and drop, widen and round: the mythic and present Flint Hills.

I was on my way to give a talk on Jubilee — what we release and learn from, embrace and start fresh and alive with, beginners all of us at each moment — at the Unitarian buy cialis us only Universalist Church of Manhattan. Michael, my old friend of 20 years — lost for a while due to the wild weather of both our lives — was the minister of this very fine congregation, and soon enough I would be standing in front of people in a lovely and sacred space, framed by windows leading to woodland and prairie, slope and ridges, soon enough, but for now, I was driving and in that happy-driving-music where space becomes a good friend just as I speed through it.

Easy enough to cultivate such appreciate especially when that space is made of reddened grasses, wide bowls of horizons, blue bright sky, all shining together in the centering of one of the shorter days of the air.

Landing: Everyday Magic, Days 108-110

For the last two days, it’s been planes, trains and automobiles with bouts of open and clean space between them, a great anniversary party with friends and family, but mostly that sense of speeding through space. Thanks to New Jersey Transit and Continental Airlines, speed has been all around, from sitting in the ambling nicely train while a super sonic whoosh of an Amtrak jolts me with its passing, to sitting in the rounded end of terminal A at Newark International Airport, waiting to board a second plane after our first one was deemed unfit.

Now I’m home, the cat asleep on my lap (a compromise to keep her from sleeping across the computer keys, all an obvious ploy to say: love me instead), the dog asleep by the feet, the dirty buy cialis online overseas laundry dumped out of the suitcase, the pile of newspapers ready to read and weep over, and all the assorted things to get fixed (like our furnace, which won’t turn on, and the wheel alignment after skidding some to avoid a deer on the way to the airport). The room is quiet, the leaves completely stripped from the Cottonwood, the wind slightly up, and the rose in the vase pretty much spent.

I like landing, especially after what it always takes to get from one dimension to another, from the land of my childhood to the land of the rest of my life. Now it time to walk back into this life more fully as soon as I go find some coffee to replenish the coffers.

Why I Love New York: Everyday Magic, Day 107

After walking 12-15 miles a day for four days, I’m post-callous, and we’re moving with greater ease and speed. Last night, Ken said to me that despite our walking like maniacs wherever we’re being called, and despite doing this at least once a year for many years, we can only skim the surface of what New York is really about. Yet that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to love:

  • One massively big window in a small room at our marvelously imaginative, clean, creative and location-location-location digs, Chelsea Lodge.
  • The Cloisters and mostly the park and setting it’s in with paths wrapping around in layers of rock, forests and breathtaking views.
  • Getting out the subway without any frickin’ idea of where we are and just cialis generic price comparison walking whatever direction instinct calls.
  • Antica Venezia, the most astonishing restaurant of my life (and more on this later), and the elegant, warm and welcoming owner who calls me “Bella.”
  • Little surprises in Greenwich Village and all other places too.
  • Afternoon hot coca and espresso with a plate of assorted cookies that taste like heaven in, of course, Little Italy.
  • The light and how it reflects in buildings and across streets when it’s compressed and angled interesting ways by the height of the buildings.
  • The north woods area of Central Park and its non-human inhabitants.
  • Subways underground that suddenly come out into the air and climb to way overground for a stop or two.
  • How you walk one more block and enter one more world, again and again.

Why I Love Brooklyn: Everyday Magic, Days 104-105

Besides it being, as cousin Tzipora points out, the ancestral homeland, here’s why else I love being here:

  • The smell of the french fries at Nathan’s hot dogs.
  • Not just a tree but thousands of elegant, sometimes ancient and often stunningly beautiful trees grow in Brooklyn.
  • The bonsai trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
  • Walking down gentrified but fun 7th Avenue for hours, then going across a tree-canopied street of brownstones to walk down well-lived-in 5th Avenue for hours.
  • Looking into people’s lives, laundry, windows, rooftops and yards as the subway goes high over ground, rising deeper into Brooklyn.
  • Getting out at Coney Island simply because it’s Coney Island.
  • Walking under the elevated subway through Brighton Beach in one of the least touristy parts of New York (where the motto could be, “Get out of my way”) and where all the signs are in Russian, cialis for sale generic plus we got great fruit at an Israeli store run by people from Central America.
  • Eating plums on the Q train even if we were stopped for 30 minutes where I watched a fairly young man reach into his wallet and hand a five to young Russian mother carrying a baby in one hand and a sign asking for money to buy peanut and jelly for her family in the other.
  • Getting a 20-minute foot rub on 5th Avenue in a subway-sized store where Ken got his first pedicure.
  • Eating some of the most exquisite Greek and Middle Eastern food of our lives at a small restaurant on the corner of 7 Ave and 8th Streets.
  • The way many people kept coming up to us, asking us for directions because we obviously seemed so at home here.