Ode to Subbie

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The afternoon sun started to sink behind the trees and the wind rustled the coloring leaves. I took in the turn of seasons and thought how perfect it would be to go into the woods today. Instead I swiveled left to right and right to left in a faux leather chair as my fingers pressed print marks on to the polished glass covering the laminate conference table. I waited for a financial planner who would assess my capacity to live without a real job – one of those employment situations with insurance and w-2’s. He joined me dressed in the obligatory consultant attire of grey suite, white dress shirt, and blue tie and after pleasantries began the questioning. He did not have a drill Sargent or interrogating lawyer approach, but rather a quiet and unassuming demeanor. The inquiries seemed reasonable, almost rote: What was my monthly income to expense ratio? Did I have any foreseeable changes in my near future, like getting married, inheriting a big estate, or a move to a foreign land? His questions were met with an easy response. Then he asked: How many more cars will you buy in your life time?

My eyes widened as my brain slammed on the breaks. How many more cars would I buy? I felt a swift slap of reality: life is finite and so is your car-buying future. The question also drove home the reality that my finite life continues to shorten. Continue reading

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Flâneur your way home

IMG_2405To get lost is one of the virtues of travel. In Florence, La Spezia and Milan, Italy, I circled, lapped and swept along alleys, piazzas and bustling cobblestone streets. I would say I was lost most all of the time, but to be lost would mean I had a destination. Save the desire to make it to the obligatory tourist sites and back to the train station, I was free to wander or to flâneur as was the way of the 19th century French pedestrians. Does not flâneur  sound far more sophisticated than wander? To flâneur I turn off the Google Map and follow the compass of my intuition. Continue reading

On the Milk Run through Alaska

IMG_3942The weight of my duffle bag tips the scale at the Alaskan Airlines counter but remains a sly measure below the 50 pound allotment. The bag bulges with items requested and items required to make the next month on Baranof Island comfortable. Without surprise, I will find the TSA placard acknowledging their search of my belongings when I unzip the bag several hours and many thousands of miles later. Maybe the polenta or the jar of pesto or the packets of cumin, coriander, and turmeric have piqued their security curiosity. Or perhaps the smell of coffee beans seeping from the canvas calls to them. My cache also includes lemons, ginger, apples, beans and the specially requested whipped cream. Continue reading

Reliable Connections

IMG_3626There are many news items from an island town in Alaska that are not typically heard down south. Each spring residents are reminded to bring in bird feeders to reduce bear trouble. Citizens are asked to dispose of animal carcasses properly so as to not interfere with airport traffic. And this week, there have been reports on how to handle the latest issue: limited internet connection. I imagine Silicon Valley has never had a week where the ability to draw up Google or retrieve email messages has taken ten minutes or not happened at all. Continue reading

The Quiet Awe in Life

 

Cross Trail PhotoThere are places in our lives that we can point back and think: That was truly a magical time. That was a sincerely special place. That was an incredible evening. Occasions, celebrations, and milestones mark the path along our lives where we see the unique moments that make this life spectacular. Continue reading