“There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.”
-Charles Dudley Warner
And so it has begun. A 4,200-mile road trip has cast its troll line; the stern of the summer steadfastly in Maine, my compass aligned roughly southwest. I am so ready for this journey.
I left Maine on Monday with a packed car and a fond farewell to the North (and to summer). Avoiding the ambitious 12-hour drives I endured to reach Maine in May, my route home takes a more leisurely route and pace. I made it only as far as Boston on Monday, and stayed with a student from MMW in Winchester (20 minutes outside the city center). Tuesday brought us to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, which currently has a really wonderful exhibit by Ori Gersht that addresses the uneasy relationship between beauty and violence, specifically in the context of the Middle East conflict and Holocaust history. The body of work was a mesmerizing combination of high-speed video and still photography. We also perused the historical English photography exhibit, and by the end of the contemporary art collection we had whiled away 3 hours. Yay art!
Tuesday night I stayed in Cambridge with my friend Charlie, who I know from Las Cruces. Vegan pizza, good beer, and better company. So nice to catch up with friends! He also helped me execute a session for my ongoing art project in Harvard Square, which was entertaining for both of us. So happy to be making progress on my own work again.
Today I took a detour, as I am likely to do along my journey. I stopped in Newport, Rhode Island, to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Yes, I am that much of a tennis nerd. I figured it would help get me excited for the US Open tomorrow (like I need help getting excited, but still), and also served to tick R.I. off of my list of states. Turns out R.I. is brimming with tourists this time of year, and traffic was AWFUL. But I persevered, retaining equanimity not without conscious effort. The museum was quite enjoyable, outlining the entire history of the sport and displaying trophies, garments, and various memorabilia from the beginnings of tennis through present day championships. So cool.
I have decided, based on my drive to Cold Spring, NY from Newport today, that Connecticut sucks. Sorry. I spent an extra hour and half in bumper-to-bumper traffic due to construction. Irksome, to say the least. I tried to remain chipper, but faced with the inescapable bottleneck of commuters and tourists, I began to understand why East Coasters are such angry drivers. Infuriating. Self talk: “Stay calm, there’s nothing you can do about it anyway…” Go. stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Ugh. My audio book helped a bit, but damn — traffic is annoying.
I arrived in Cold Spring, at beautiful Stonecrop Gardens, to stay tonight with yet another friend from New Mexico. Lovely Emily even had dinner for me when I arrived! So sweet. I’ll take the train into New York City early tomorrow morning to meet Ben for a weekend of tennis and NYC exploration (Ben has never been there before).
So I’m off to bed to get a good night’s sleep amid the songs of innumerable frogs, to prepare myself for the insanity of New York City tomorrow.