Then and There, or Here and Now

Today is exactly 2 months away from the day we leave for Kansas City. That’s crazy. I guess I feel like the curtain is closing. The final act. It’s strange, it’s difficult, it’s sad, it’s exciting, it’s everything all at once. How many emotions can a person process at once before it all become I35 at rush hour, a mess of jumbled thoughts going all sorts of directions, pulling you left and right, twirling you around in a hurricane of images.

An example: Just last night I finished a book of the Johnstown Flood in the 19th century. I closed the book, remembering a road trip I took from Austin to Michigan to New York and back. I remember the area described in the book. When they talked about the rolling hills, the mines, the streams and hills covered in green, I knew that I passed that area the same time as Detroit was closing it’s factories because all of New England was in a blackout. My bookmark is a Zimbabwe 10 Dollar bill. I held it in my hand and remembered the football match in Victoria Falls, meeting John and Paolo, drinking beers in the local establishment, being scared out of our wits by the sheer desperation of the country. Then I look out the window across Mendoza and start thinking about when Erin and I first put maps in our KC apartment and said, “how do we even start?”

If the question of starting was difficult and overwhelming, the question of how to end is equally so, perhaps more. The question of how to start was back in 2006. Erin’s little sister, Maura, was barely in high school, and we were planning a trip to come back for graduation in 2010. That’s like planning a trip today that will end in 2014. Where’s the World Cup going to be in 2014? Who knows? That’s how far away the end was when we started. The end was like chasing a rainbow. It was so far away, what’s the point of even talking about it. It’s over there, not here, not now.

Well, 4 years later, it is here, it is now. I’m trying to stay focused on enjoying my time in Mendoza, but it’s tough. My mind is elsewhere, it seems. It’s on it’s slow journey back to the world that we left in January of 2008, over two years ago. The world of familiarity. It’s as if we’ve been running from what is comfortable, what we know, what we’ve spent our lives knowing. That was never the purpose, the purpose was to run toward what was new, what was different, what was unexpected, something to surprise us and change us from the inside. We found it, we were changed by what we found. Now, though, we’re far from the things that used to comfort us. But we’re finding different things that are familiar and comforting. The familiarity of routine is wonderful. Seeing somebody you know on the street. It’s an incredible feeling, really, when you’ve been without it for so long. Yet I can’t fully commit to the familiarity of Mendoza because I’m leaving. In my mind, I’m already stepping away, mentally preparing to walk off the plane in Kansas City, hug my friends, live in Idaho, cook dinners with my sister and just marvel at being back in the circle of those I know and love.

4 thoughts on “Then and There, or Here and Now”

  1. We are looking forward to the slideshow evening mini-series over Idaho grown veggies and spicy margaritas from our homemade infused tequila (could that be interpreted moonshine?) and hearing more and more details about the journey and amazing adventures you’ve had. I only wish I could have been there for more of them. Next time! Right?!?!

    I have no doubt you will embrace your final months in Mendoza. Find some incredibly random new favorite place before you leave that only one who LIVES there would find. Some place that someone visiting for only a vacation would never see. Quick… I’m studying and need more photos to cheer me up!


  2. Hi Erin and Todd,
    Finally caught up with your website entries. Sounds like Chris’ visit was amazing and I can imagine how much you enjoyed having more family around.

    We are delighted to hear that you will be heading north on 5/4. You have had such a wonderful two year adventure which will be an important factor in your life. Remember though, this is just the first of many such wonderful adventures…different places…different years…exceptional lives!


  3. I love the way you think, Mom!

    What will be the next trip? Where will we go? We’ve talked about taking motorcycles from Morocco to Egypt. You can meet us in Tunisia for some Africa sundowners over the Mediterranean. Sounds terrible, eh? We should pencil it in for, what, when will that be? 2015? 2020? Who knows! Good thing Erin’s getting her motorcycle license in May. Just taking it one step at a time.

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