Appalachia Merge

Travel has a way of smashing your life together and making you earn the fall-out. I’m on a plane, again—this time from the southeast to home. I’m back on tour and just spoke, got sandbagged, and took a flu shot to the left shoulder all in three days in North Carolina.

I like the southeast. The air feels good, the flowers are thick, the dirt is soft and welcoming. Something feels normal to me here. It did in Raleigh and it did even more in Boone. The mountains of NC felt like mountains this visit—crisp and cold. The rock faces were tight constructions of quartzite layered with horizontal faults that kicked me off their backs repeatedly.

Now I’m going back to Boulder. Sarah Palin is on the television above me and I can’t decide if it is worse to listen to her or to absorb the statistic in my magazine that 23% of all married couples sleep in separate beds or rooms to avoid “conflicts over snoring or bed-hogging.” Either way, it’s bad news. I flip to a something better. Haile GebreSelassie of Ethiopia just set the world marathon record, again. It’s his third. They say Yemen will be under a terror alert for months to come. The hidden ancient city of Petra, Jordan, has a six-page feature in Delta’s in-flight magazine.

Do things become more relevant? Or do we start to care more? My brain is popping with what it means for Ethiopia to have a runner in the news, if I will get to Yemen, if I will be able to one day be on one of the 77%, or even counted in that study at all. I’m drugged with information and I know I am just adding to it by writing, by reading, by listening. Traveling brings this on as if sleeping in a different bed each night opens up all of these portals of absorption. It feels good. It feels like scratching a scab and watching the bright pink skin emerge from underneath the crust. It’s no wonder I am tired these days when I get home.