Around the World in 223 Days

So neither¬†Phileas Fogg’s fictional feat, nor Michael Palin’s actual one, are in any danger of being eclipsed. But when Lindsay‘s flight lands in Boston later today she will have completed one whole trip around the world. We’ll count the high school trip to France, Spain, and Morocco, and her semester abroad in Uganda, as test flights, like the Mercury or Gemini projects were before the Apollo missions.

Except for eastern Canada and a week in Bermuda I have never been outside the United States. The moons of opportunity, capability, and inclination just haven’t come into alignment, but that hasn’t stopped us from experiencing some fascinating places vicariously. And at a safe distance from spiders.

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Once More….

Cathay Pacific B777*ceci n’est pas un avion

The photo above is not the actual Boeing 777 carrying Lindsay from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on her way to Thailand, at least as far as we know, but it might as well be. Three years ago we were waiting to hear that she had arrived safely in Africa. Now, after getting her messages that she had arrived in LA from Boston and boarded her flight for Hong Kong, we have to wait about another twelve hours before we can reasonably expect to hear from her again.

With all three of our girls away, either at school, or way away, as in Asia for the next six months, we officially have an empty nest (just don’t tell the cats). This opens a new chapter, some of which I don’t expect to be markedly different from the previous, but which presents some of its own opportunities. I suspect it will take a little while for us to establish a new rhythm, a new pattern of life with mostly just the two of us again after more than twenty years with children of various sizes in the house.

Meanwhile, Lindsay has picked up her blog again, and we can expect to hear all kinds of interesting things about life, work, and travels in Thailand and other parts of southeast Asia.

Christmas 2012

The Heart-in-Waiting

The Heart-in-waiting

Jesus walked through whispering wood:
‘I am pale blossom, I am blood berry,
I am rough bark, I am sharp thorn.
This is the place where you will be born.’

Jesus went down to the skirl of the sea:
‘I am long reach, I am fierce comber,
I am keen saltspray, I am spring tide.’
He pushed the cup of the sea aside

And heard the sky which breathed-and-blew:
‘I am the firmament, I am shape-changer,
I cradle and carry and kiss and roar,
I am infinite roof and floor.’

All day he walked, he walked all night,
Then Jesus came to the heart at dawn.
‘Here and now,’ said the heart-in-waiting,
‘This is the place where you must be born.’

By Kevin Crossley-Holland, from Selected Poems, 2001; Photo by Ina Hramacek. (via Fiat Lux)

Merry Christmas.

Waiting

Is it the hardest part? Sometimes, I guess, though dealing with what you’ve been waiting for may be harder, depending on what it is. Seems like we’re always waiting for something – the phone to ring, a letter (a what?), the outcome of an election, an occasion or holiday, or some other event – so you’d think that we’d always be in that tension. And so we probably are, though we experience it more acutely at certain times. Like after hitting the “submit” button on a college admissions application.

Now all we can do is wait.

The People Raise Their Hands

Rush kicked off their latest tour at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire last Friday night. Their latest album, Clockwork Angels, has been getting mostly good reviews, and I spent a lot of time listening to it over the summer in anticipation of this concert. Having bought two tickets in a simultaneous burst of passion and foolishness (though the two do often seem to go together, don’t they?), I was glad to have one of my brothers-in-law named Randy along with me to share the experience. (I actually have three brothers-in-law, but only two of them are named Randy, though maybe we can work on Brian and change that.)

After the Time Machine tour experience in 2010, I went prepared with ear plugs to sensibly limit hearing loss while, hopefully, still enjoying the music. Pulling into Manchester and finding parking (for a hefty price!) across from the arena I threw caution to the winds and left the ear plugs in the car. Inside the arena I was a little surprised at its size, which seemed small, though I guess it seats about as many as the Mohegan Sun Arena, and about half again as many as our local Cumberland County Civic Center.

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