When do you find yourself out of your comfort zone–whether that means jumping out of a plane (I have no desire to jump out of a plane) or sitting quietly in a room? What are your favorite memories from there?
A year ago today, I flew out of Seattle to La Guardia airport and hung out with my friend Laurie in Queens for a quiet evening. It was the beginning of my East Coast book tour.
Eight days of adventure–and I’m not an adventurous person. I seek out safety and comfort, thank you.
But I look back on that week gladly, grateful for the time with friends, the readings, and the challenge of driving 799 miles on unknown roads.
I’ve been trying to write about a moment toward the end of the journey, as I approached the Whitestone Bridge–
and here as I slow before the tollbooth, the road a field of cars,
the fear of two boroughs in my wrists
and tight in my throat a prayer of thanks for safe
passage through Connecticut,
the north tower rises like a monument,
cathedral in the sky’s vault
and the sun descending its marble staircase
through the day’s rose-hinged clerestory,
I nearly hear the angels singing
At the time, I was worrying about the driving and everything being new. I was sure that any supposed benefits of that newness were being offset by the stress. But that trip has served me well. When I get nervous, I often remind myself that I drove 799 miles, that I drove in Queens. I even drove for about two blocks in Manhattan. So take that, worries.
This Monday after daylight savings threw me down and kicked me. Not enough sleep. Not enough brains. But I’m enjoying the memories from last year.