What do a labor arbitrator, a radio personality, a teacher, an epidemiologist, a registered nurse, an education specialist, a bat expert, a physiology professor, and a defense lawyer for the Dept of Justice all have in common?
This past week, I found out. And, in the process, realized that much of that which unites us as human beings has little to do with our professions, and much to do with what we long to do after-hours.
This is a picture I took of the State Capital of Minnesota through the window of a bus I never planned to take, in a part of town I never planned to visit.
Some of my most profound life lessons have come from my solitary travel and sometimes, the greatest travel adventures happen when nothing goes as planned. Despite what you see and read in the news (violent crime, kidnappings, and murder) America is a not the big, scary place we see on the news.
There is a warm web of community among strangers who meet at bus stops, and for every crime reported in the media, there are thousands of untold stories and numerous unsung heroes who lend helping hands to a frantic traveler like me who would be unable to make it to her destination without the kindness of strangers.
I realize that I’ve entered this place with the eye of a stranger in a strange land. An American expatriate who has lived in a developing nations for over ten years and who is coming from a lands with power outages, lack of medical care and extreme poverty, my perception of this mall is quite different to those who have made a visit to this place part of their summer vacation.
"Art offers something else--depth, involvement, a new way of looking at the world that we live in, a fresh approach to what we take for granted, a chance to experience freedom of the imagination." -Meredith Monk, composer, singer, director, choreographer
“We’ve made reservations for tonight at Otto’s in The Village,” said Madam Brooklyn. “If you’re into celebrity chefs, it’s owned by Mario Batali." I hadn’t heard of this famous chef known for his brawn, red hair, and habit of wearing shorts and bright orange Crocks in the kitchen. But, she soon filled me in.
For almost every day for the past eleven years, I’ve carried
the same, large leather bag. It has accompanied me to 14 countries,
crossing borders, oceans, continents, and times zones. My constant companion,
weathering the love and loss of friends and lovers, it looks no worse for wear.
When I recently met an ex-fiancé for coffee, the first words
out of his mouth were: “Are you still carrying that bag?”
“Yep!” I replied. “It has proven to be a much better
investment than most boyfriends, and it has certainly lasted longer!”
Part tragedy, part comedy, check out The Blotter. Here are a few of the complaints called in to the police in Taos, NM, my favorite town on earth.
3:09 p.m., Shoplifting, 200 block Paseo del Pueblo Sur – Complaint that a woman with long blond hair, sunglasses on her head, and wearing all black took of organic items and frozen items and left without paying. She was seen heading onto Los Pandos, driving a bright orange car.