It’s been weeks since my last post when I was lost among the vineyards of Manzano, Italy; enjoying the countryside, a dear friend and her wonderful family, and tasting the richness of what life can offer a squarely middle-class American who is enabled to take a trip once every 5 years or so; that is, to make an exploration that matters.
This blog post date reads Aug. 12th, but it began then and finished today: August 28th. Sometimes life just sits on your lap and obscures your view for a bit…
My trip to Iceland, Belgium, and Italy gave me a new perspective. I’ve been cooking so much more since returning home. The quotidian madness and din of unending work doesn’t stress me as it once did. It’s all part of the daily chime of life and I’m much more accepting of it. I still make note of the crazy days, both behind and ahead, that I read in the Financial Times. (Side note: It is such a well-written paper. Not only do I learn about the world from the best in news journalism that arrives in my spaceship each day including the ever-amazing Life & Arts weekend edition, but I discover at least one new word for which I must lucubrate. The word “erudite” comes to mind as I pour over the pages. Oh, that I could write with such aplomb! Even the digital subscription is pricey, this much is true. But, what would you pay for not only the right news, correct news, impartial journalism, and TRUTH delivered to you daily? I have answered this for myself since I teach in the world of journalism. This is the cost of professional development.)
THAT was a SIDE NOTE, bien sûr!
Many things have struck my mind since my return. Now that I’m fully charged (even with a little-over-a-month back to work full-time/full-on), I see and hear the world a bit differently. I feel as though I watch American news through the lens of a person from afar. When one visits outside of America for more than two weeks, you begin to see and feel the wonders of the world that are distinctly not American. And let me clarify: I do not mean UN-American as some paranoid souls from the “right” might read that. I mean, simply, not from the “over-processed, industrialized-everything, corporate mindset upon the populace” way of thinking. I mean from the every day living of a human soul on the planet without the trance-induced state that capitalism besets an economy and its fervid tribes who ascribe, imbibe, and abide to it.
I honestly feel like I’m more in a slow-motion vibration among a busy-bee world and that feels really good to me. I play well in the busy-bee world because my work has brought me here time and again for 30+-years. This is the nature of working in sound and events and creative endeavors with deadlines. As my dear friend has repeated to me recently to just remember Dory in “Finding Nemo” with her wonderful line: “…keep swimming, swimming, swimming.” (I LOVE that!)
My friend and recently-retired Department Chair gave me the perfect “shoo” advice that I needed to embark on this trip at just the right time. As the Spring semester ended and before summer fully infused here in the U.S., I should take flight. So, I left for Iceland on May 27th and what happened even in the course of one day of my exit was astonishingly mind-opening and soul-engaging. I had thought too much about when I should take the trip. She encouraged me to go early on into summer and right after finals week. It was the best advice I have received in decades.
The writings of that trip are well-documented in my “Living Life One Sip At A Time” blog, so feel free to troll about through the archives. I stopped in my last post from Manzano, Italy causing confusion among friends whom I do not work with: “Dana, did you come back?” Ha! Oh, if I had just said, “OK, life. Here I am. I’ll just stop now and start anew…”
For now, I’ll sit here this morning, sip my java before the start of another work day, and summon Dory: