I hopped in my car yesterday (Sunday) at 10:00 and headed northeast to see a friend in New Hampshire. That's the short of it, but there is so much more to this trip.
Things have been too crazy in my life for far too long. I have no serenity anymore. I have no structure, which I depend on. How did I get here? I've got to get back to my center. Hence, the need for this trip.
My friend Steve, who has been through an awful lot of BS in his time in New Hampshire - all relationship-centered - lives in the cozy little town of Wilton. He has an old house with good bones and many needs nestled in a grove of trees on 13 acres. Because his home is a work in progress, he recommended a friends house down the road. She has a place that is listed on AirBandB.com (check it out, if you don't already know about the site), which is her home with several rooms she makes available for guests. I'm in the Tree House Room, which is part of the converted attic space. It's adorable and quiet, and just across the hall is the meditation room, with a Buddhist altar, rugs, and pillows, exuding the scent of wonderful incense. I plan to spend some time in there over the next few days, because as my friend told me, Buddhism is spoken here. And I sorely need that salve for my soul.
It was 34 degrees when I woke up at 7:30. It's 65 now, and supposedly that's the coldest it will be during my trip. That's good, because I have to admit, it was a little brisk this morning for my bones. My teeth chattered when I sat down on the frigid toilet seat.
I said goodbye to Maryland in short order and moved into Pennsylvania. The colors were prettier there, and I was astounded by some of the waterfront homes as I passed through Harrisburg. If I'd had time or the will to stop, if I'd had a decent camera, I would have grabbed some shots, but I didn't. Riverfront Park is simply serene. The Susquehanna drifted past on my right, unhurried, rocks jutting up from the surface like the bones of gods.
On the left were homes, at least I assume they were homes, with astounding architecture. I might never have seen them but for the tall, domino-like rectangle with a hole cut out of the top, sticking up in one of the yards. It caught my eye, and I looked up to see a home with the same weathered shingles along the face, with large round windows of differing sizes. If done wrong, it could have looked like a shocked face staring into the river. Instead, it was majestic.
A house down the road had a two-story face, half of which was entirely made of smoked glass. I imagined giant Christmas trees in those windows, filling the riverfront night with white light and glitter.
The trip only grew more beautiful along the way. In Maryland, we're already getting pops of color, but they were nothing compared to what I saw as I approached New York City.
And the city. Oh my. The last time I saw it was in 1999, when I worked on Wall Street - yes, in the World Trade Center - installing firewalls for a bank there. All of those firewalls were destroyed on 9/11/2001, along with the Marriott where I had stayed. Now, this structure stands: One World Trade Center (colloquially known previously as "Freedom Tower"), starkly reaching to the sky like a big "f*ck you" to anyone who wants to try it again. It's the tallest structure in the Western hemisphere. I was awestruck. Being lodged in traffic as I went through the toll booths was a blessing, as I got to keep sneaking looks at the impressive skyscraper. Well done, David Childs.
Today is Monday. Steve had to go to work this morning and was stuck there through 2:30. We're going to head out and catch some late afternoon sights, catch up with each other, and just hang out and eat dinner. I haven't done much today except listen to music, nap, watch a documentary, and just relax. I'm going to sign off now, but first...
Thank you, SCOTUS, for bowing out of the marriage equality debate, which upholds your earlier ruling in United States v. Edie Windsor. Two years ago, Margaret and I set up camp at the Oktoberfest in Germantown, MD, to talk to people about Question 6 and to educate them on the language of the question (you had to vote FOR it). We resoundingly won at the ballot box, paving the way for our own marriage on 9/29/13. None of this is slipping by me. I know how hard we fought. I know we won. I know we can win again.
Until tomorrow. Peace, D