My Privilege to Walk

Thoreau writes in his essay, Walking, “I wish to speak a moment a word for nature.” I too wish to speak a moment, but not for nature, even if my topic is often mistaken for something natural. I want to recognize that embarking on a 7-month, non-work-related journey is a full-on exploitation of my individual privilege. This understanding makes my innate desire for travel and adventure quite problematic. Fact is I’m conflicted by my nearly unlimited access to ease that comes with having white skin and a penis. It’s not guilt I’m feeling, nor is it a biased form of…

My New Everest

PRE-WALK, BLOG #1 I’ve got big dreams. Big goals. Always have. Probably goes back to when I was a kid and found my dad’s do-before-I die list. I don’t remember what it said exactly, but as soon as I read it I wrote one of my own. At 8 years old I hoped to one day run a marathon, ride a horse in the Mongolia steppe, and trek through the Sahara. Dunzo. I also thought I’d climb Mt. Everest. The older I get, and the more controversial that mountain becomes, the less likely this is going to happen. I’m OK…

A Short Week in Roma Norte, Again

When Katie booked her week-long bike trip through Arizona, I was like, “Hey, I wanna go somewhere too!” So I booked a trip to México. Big surprise. 2017 had been busy, work-wise. So a break was in order. I hadn’t revisited my book-in-progress since December and my lasting memories of it were largely self-critical. My internal dialogue: There’s no plot. The characters are undeveloped. Why would anyone care about this story? I should throw in the towel. Stuff like that. But I became inspired to give it another chance after one of my trusted readers, James Lalonde, gave me some usable…

A Visual Book Review: Part 2

“Memory is the one true agony carried in the body.” Doug Rice’s An Erotics of Seeing is witness to the purest of all enigmas, memory. I take slower steps, wander the streets of Mexico City, look closely at small things. Forgotten things. Remembering beauty. “Ghosts haunt the streets, the alleys. Words replace people. Names.” “Most times, a word never becomes more than a shape to fill a lack.” I see you. I practice seeing you. I will see you again. We are left with an image locked in our mind. Every day it changes, but it’s always just right. Perfect. “A…

A Visual Book Review: Part 1

Doug Rice’s An Erotics of Seeing is a gift of observation. A peek through a crack. A breeze. Makes it hard to keep your your eyes open. Makes tears fall. My response: a practice of seeing. A Saturday morning walk through the streets of México City. “The longer you live, the more you die.” What you see becomes you. Find questions in the image. Is the after more real than the before? Can an image offer proof? “We are playing with desires that disappear.” Memory. We rediscover agony, rediscover joy. “Imagine light without shadows,” he said. “Imagine such a light. You can’t, can you? What’s that tell you?” “Time does…

Endurance

Last night, Katie and I sat down to watch Life in a Day, a documentary about four amazing women competing in the 2016 running of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. Within minutes of the opening credits, I was already getting misty. The snippets of familiar trail sections and footage of runners, crew members, race officials, and spectators brought me right back to 2007 when I ran it. My first hundred. As I wiped a tear away, Katie looked over and jokingly asked if I was going to be OK. “Yeah, yeah,” I said. “It’s just that I’ve got so…

Grateful

The last time I had seen the Washington D.C. Metro so jam-packed was back in 1993 when I lived in Virginia and was returning home with my friend Becca after a Grateful Dead concert. And really, there’s no way it could have been as crazy busy as it was on the morning of the Women’s March, Saturday January 21st. After all, 500,000 people converging from every corner of the US take up far more space than a capacity crowd spilling from RFK. Still, it was nutty. Took Katie and I nearly an hour after getting off the train to finally exit L’Enfant station. Outside,…