Someone asked me once, in a situation of project survey research what my passions were.

Communication, I answered, and teaching. For me, the two dropped into the same slot, interchangeably; if you were a good communicator, you could teach the world through action, not just words, and if you were a good teacher, you could reach the world through your actions, not just your lessons.

But what of those who don’t communicate well? I find myself wondering how it is they make it across streets, cook meals, navigate interactions to keep themselves alive. How can those who are so bad at interaction even function?

This isn’t a judgment, mind you. It’s downright curiosity.


The world, more and more is finding ways to look out through a technological lens. There is an app for iOS (and probably one for Android, I imagine) that you can download to text while you’re walking. The camera in the phone reveals what’s in front of you so that you don’t become lost in the words, like Google Glass, I’m told. Look at the world, but through a lens.

We’ve been doing that for years, I suppose; looking through travel destinations through cameras instead of experiencing them, swinging telescopes around to far-off planets or apartments to peep in. We watch television because of the pasteurized nature of what it delivers. Does this contribute to a lost art of communication? Texting is communicating, you might say, but if it’s happening at the same time as walking, driving, eating, listening…then is it communication? Or is it yet another pasteurization, hoping to filter what is really in front of us?

I think of that when I pick up my phone, sync it to the folding keyboard, and miss the birds lining back and forth from trees to nests, miss the moon on my morning walk, use the headphones to filter out the inarticulate conversation on the train.


And so I return from my adventures.

Sounds like something the ancients or Tolkien would have written.  Quotes about wandering, drifting into references in Oz, on what we wanted was here all along.

I spent the month of March and the first week of April getting acclimated to a change of residence; same sorry town, just on the other side of a body of water.  There are more options for sidewalks on this side of the water, but also a more industrialized/commercialized look.  In other words, we went from living in a frat house to living in a mall.  This side, so far, is greener, and the living space is cooler.  I had missed green around me something awful, so I’m grateful for that, and this space is quieter.  And yet, it’s still miles from anywhere, the opposite of a cafe culture.  But I’m acclimating as best I can until the next tide comes in.

Until that tide…I’m working on the novel again and preparing for a brief shore leave north.

Speaking of tides…in general, what’s your level of optimism?  Mine has developed into belligerent shading of the word.  I’m not a Pollyanna, but I’ve nearly had it with “you can’t fight City Hall” or, as Lorde likes to sing, “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air/So there.”  (Yes, I know, she meant something else, but it seems to fit.)  Strangely enough, if left alone to solitude in the realm of meet-space, my mother’s inheritance wins over and I can be as optimistic as Pooh Bear and Piglet, but if you put me with comp’ny I’ll shut down into silence or drift into my father’s Eeyore-ism.  I can’t be brave in the face of shoulder-chip wearers.

Until this week.  These things can happen if you’re tired of being the scapegoat at work, tired of settling for what your age and your station seem to determine for everyone else, and now I’m just stubbornly optimistic.  It’s a revolt on my part.  If someone else proves more optimistic, or uplifting, I’ll defer them the title.

A very happy Saturday to you, then.