And So We Beat On...

It's been quiet here in this corner of the interwebs--somewhat expected, somewhat unexpected. I've gone back to fairly extensive traveling of late (Connecticut for my sister-in-law's wedding, DC for a conference) and will be traveling again off and on through the end of July. It's all good stuff, it's just left me with limited time (and brainpower) for doing things like reading books. The bits of time I may have dedicated to reading (or writing) have devolved this week into bits of time spent reading about Orlando, watching Chris Murphy's filibuster, and trying to be a strong ally for my LGBT+ friends and family. I'm hurt and angry and disappointed that we are going through this again, again, again... but am hopeful that we can find a way forward to change. Or at least I'm trying to be hopeful.  

I've been reading a forthcoming book called On Trails, in which hiker Robert Moor writes about the nature of trails and how they help us understand our world. (It's an excellent work of narrative non-fiction, if you're curious.) Reflecting on his own through-hike of the Appalachian Trail, he writes:

I met soldiers returning from war and people recovering from a death in the family. Certain stock phrases were repeated. "I needed some time to clear my head," they said, or "I knew this might be my last chance."

Perhaps this need to clear my own head is what's led me to the trails so much of late. I dropped my brother off at the Pennsylvania-Maryland line of the AT for his first solo hike (he covered some 60 miles in 4 days, traveling from PA through MD to WV, where he was picked up), and rather than dropping him and going back to the grind, I joined him for a few miles and then ran back to my car. I've run in the woods, placing one foot in front of the other, blindly following the path laid by others, thinking of everything and nothing. And I've walked. And walked. And walked.

I find that, despite my exhaustion, I'm restless. I cannot stop moving. I cannot sit still. This restlessness does not lend itself to reading--even my mind is restless, which has made audiobooks a challenge--but it does lend itself to traveling. So on I go, wandering, trying my best to take some time clear my head. If it's quieter than usual here in the meantime, I apologize.

Happy reading, happy trails.

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