30 Nov 2010, 1:12am
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ride up rise up

today i was a working stiff for the first time in a long while–for eleven hours. all day long i looked forward to my bicycle ride home–my first ride on my bike since i arrived in yorktown, virginia, in october. It Was Glorious. it always is. i rode to my friend eliot’s house and ate homemade veggie sushi and pretended i knew how to juggle, and then rode to my parents’ house, up and over mount tabor, in the calm and rainy dark. the hills are easier than they’ve ever been, but when i finally dismounted my thighs burned. so it’s not that i’m still in great shape (i’m not) so much as the fact that the challenge was always more psychological than physical. the challenge is fear. i hope i will rise to it again and again and again.

the bus in portland costs five cents more than it did last time i was here. the 20 has changed its route. the rain is still the same. five months is, by far, the longest time i’ve spent away from this city since i moved here in 2003. it is still a beautiful place, but five months of perspective have loosed its cultish grip on my heart. and so it’s strange to be back.

i rode into town in a pick-up truck the same make and model of the one that hit me in 2008. a craigslist ride share from the east bay with a guy who grows orchids and rides bikes. couchsurfing, craigslist… the biggest lesson i’ve learned this year remains that in the absence of fear, people are kind, generous, and good. in the absence of fear, i think there’s nothing that people helping people can’t do.

lots to say but i’m so out of practice!

23 Nov 2010, 7:22pm
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berkeley (et cetera)

i’m out of the habit of writing about my life on the internet, and i don’t know where to begin. here’s this, instead:

home (?) to portland tomorrow, five months later. can’t wait to see my friends, my family, and my bike!

16 Nov 2010, 8:13pm
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the california zephyr

chicago to the bay
2 days

16 Nov 2010, 6:33pm
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chicago


(me and becky, my best friend in 4th grade–it’d been at least a decade since we’d seen each other)


(kati’s and my existential firemen–our tokens for admission to too much light makes the baby go blind)


(the only way)


(kati)


(the winter garden at the chicago public library)


(dan me kati)


(dan has a friend who works at the cafe at the top of the hancock tower and got me up for free!)

16 Nov 2010, 6:17pm
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home lands

some last photos from vinalhaven:


(bunny!)


(sunrise from the ferry)

the american west feels like home to me, and on my eastward bike ride i had a hard time leaving the rockies behind. the first half of my ride felt like vacation, and the second half felt like a learning experience (though i learned a lot in the west and had a lot of fun in the east). so i was surprised when, somewhere east of the mississippi, i rode through a forest and some part of me recognized my environment, and i felt a way i didn’t know i’d missed. i lived in massachusetts for the first seven years of my life and spent a lot of time running around in the woods behind our house with my brother–and somewhere in virginia the trees became the trees my body knew from my early childhood, and in some other completely unexpected way, i was home again.

at my grandparents’ house, i found this little book that (i think) my dad made when my brother and i were kids in massachusetts. we had a front garden with a stone wall at the back, and one of our stuffed animals fell down, so we enacted a dramatic rescue and my dad took photos. here’s the last two pages:

16 Nov 2010, 3:09am
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after all

hi honey,

i’m home.