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  • Writer's pictureJ&J

And the World Spins Madly On

Welcome back (to me and to you)!

This has been a wild season filled with all the improvisational moments that spontaneity tends to devise. Time disappears willingly and often, an easy feat to accomplish with limited WiFi and scattered schedules. How long has it been?

When we last chatted about the finer points of travel, Texas still had power, daylight graced the Northeast after 6PM, the Myanmar coup had yet to begin, COVID-19 was a disease without an available vaccine, and the 2020 US Presidential election was still on the horizon.

We’ve watched the world change in big ways from so many vantage points. The Capitol Invasion began when we were in transit between California and Texas. We stopped at a gas station to check the results of the senate race in Georgia and instead saw footage of face-painted people climbing over walls, entering the Senate chamber and trying to break into the House gallery. We watched the inauguration ceremony commence from behind a coffee shop counter in Laredo, TX and then heard the new silence first hand along the US/Mexico Border when the orders came to stop building the wall. During our first stint in North Carolina, a small local clinic was shut down and prevented from administering vaccines for 6 months after they were reported for vaccinating teachers. Despite the fact that teachers are not yet vaccinated, NC’s policy makers are still pushing for in-person classes under the wildly misplaced guise that the virus “doesn’t spread in schools”.

Our lives have changed too, although in much more quiet ways. We’ve rediscovered what it means to be part of a community, one that identifies itself constantly and tangibly. We’ve reaffirmed the value of walking long distances and puzzling through ideas on the move. We’ve uncovered new means of uplifting our friends back home. We’ve settled into a rhythm of squished drives, car repairs, and new climates. So far, we have broken 3 tent poles. Jacob’s “ma’am” count is just shy of 20. I spoke at my first virtual conference and discovered just how much I love pontificating about the finer points of finding alignment, curating opportunity, and relentlessly chasing dreams. (I’m sure this one shocks none of you). Some days pass in a flurry of activity - hiking here, writing there, snacking, snacking everywhere. Other days, we just sit and watch the world go by. Each day has a mind of its own. Regardless of whether we find ourselves on the road, in the woods, or posted up at s friend’s home, this experience of existing in a world that defines itself on its own terms continues to manifest as true.

Balance is a misconception. In the quest for balance, we identify ourselves as the protector of a precarious tipping point. This role of guardian/manager/control artist is a full time job with low pay and zero benefits. It is highly stressful and isolating. Everyday, there is overtime. The work is never done and, even when instances of seemingly perfect balance do arise, they become anxious reminders of impermanence rather than celebratory moments of awe. There is no constant zeroing, no single state of homeostasis.

The world continues to spin, wrapping up events large and small then tossing them forward with the full throttle of time. We can watch those occasions pass, reflect on them, or perhaps participate. There is no balance, only rhythm.

"Nirvana" - 1,000 glass heads created by Trish Duggan on display at the Imagine Museum, St. Pete, FL

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