I know perfectly well I'm looking at my phone, syncing mail and/or facebook because I'm in front of wifi and that's all there is; just that small spot and a little bit further in front of a very small office. There isn't anything else and this is a good thing. Personally I think I should just have locked the thing up and been done with it. What would that take?
But the first thing I was thinking was, I'm looking at a map. I must be looking at a map. I would have been looking at a map if I was traveling alone. Unless I was winging it and that happens too sometimes.
I was not traveling alone.
That doesn't mean I wasn't looking at maps, I looked at plenty of maps, or maps often enough or as often as we needed to look at maps. My point is, I was not traveling alone. I'm still digesting this.
What I find most striking is this thought only occurred to me once or twice during the entire 11 days on the road and only in brief, quiet, very much alone moments when I only heard my own heartbeat or stopped to catch my breath in the back of my throat before it got loose again.
There are a fair number of photographs of me from the back, like this, solitary. I think that is just the photographer. I think how I see it is my experience. I've just never seen so much of my back. The thing is, I'm almost never walking away. I'm just standing or sitting and then I'm coming forward or turned back toward the camera. I smile a lot when I'm turned back toward the camera. The photographs are always in sets like that. This thing I do notice. This thing I notice is an important distinction and I'm reminding myself to pay attention while I look at this otherness, this body language of alone.
It is hard to shift gears now. I worked very, very, very hard to learn to be alone and I do wonder if I went too far sometimes. I look at the shape of my back, the sweep of my hair and the line of my neck that I have *not* seen photographed so directly but I *do* know what that looks like because that is what I imagine alone looks like and, well, that's who I've been for an awfully long time.
It is hard learning to speak again. My voice sounds harsh and cracked or that's the feedback coming out of the speakers and I question my own hearing.
CG once said something about my thoughtfulness in speaking and I hold onto that like a lifeline in a tsunami sometimes although I know better than to hold onto any evidence because it's only good for the moment and only within the current context. But still... it may not make me right and it may not buy me what I need but it does soothe me like that bag of dirt or box of rain or what have you. I'll take it.
The sky was always doing something.