Saturday, November 12, 2011

Faster and faster

Ever feel like a passenger in a speeding car? Never stopping, always just passing through - eye darting between map and speedometer, mind already preoccupied with the next town?

I knew life would speed up after the book came out, but I forgot by just how much. There was a trip to New York, then Philadelphia, then San Francisco - fabulous journeys all. In between there have been conversations with bloggers and podcasters and radio personalities where I've tried my best to speak in complete sentences. And along the way I have met so many people - genuinely lovely souls - whose smiles and stories still echo in my mind.

I'm home for just long enough to do laundry, repack, turn another page in my calendar and pet the cat, toss more apples on the compost pile (sigh) and make a quick pit-stop at the dentist and optometrist. Then, vroom vroom, back on the road again. This time to the Finger Lakes region of New York for the 10th annual Knitter's Review Retreat. This marks the icing on an extremely large and beloved cake, and I've been so looking forward to it.

All this travel has given me a lot of time to think. To gaze out of windows and briefly pass through other people's worlds without ever settling in. It can be lonely, but also quite freeing. In her blog Orangette, Molly Wizenberg recently described this sensation as Bonus Time:

"You’re in the plane or the train, and you can see the world outside the window, and you’re hurtling through it, but it’s very far away, impossible to reach. Inside, your movements are limited, but time feels oddly expansive, as though you’re getting an extra minute for every three. You’ve escaped from normal time, and your reward is a chance to just sit and relax, or read, or listen to music, or sleep. Or maybe you’ll have to do some work, but it moves along with less friction than usual, because you’re in Bonus Time, and it’s roomy in there." 

I really like that description. Once you've untied the ropes and pushed your little ship away from the dock, there is a peculiar sense of roominess that takes hold. I'll be enjoying more than 22 hours of Bonus Time in the coming week as I travel to and from the KR Retreat. I welcome the travel time to think and dream, process and scheme.

And then? Possibly the prettiest four-letter word ever spoken in the English language: home.