Uncategorized

Conflict Avoidance

Posted on 2 min read

I’m eating store bought sushi and drink a premade smoothie when the woman comes up and starts gesturing. I look around. I haven’t said a word to anybody, because the few tables at the front of the grocery store are completely empty. “Sprinchst du Englisch?” I ask. “Nein.” She keeps gesturing, and I realize she doesn’t want me sitting there. I think because I was supposed to have bought something from the bakery by the entrance. “I thought this was a part of the grocery store.” I try to explain. She gets aggressive, her voice carrying across the store. “Ok, I’ll go buy something,” I say. I try to finish …

Glasgow, First Impressions

Posted on 2 min read

The young Scotsmen waiting to board their flights all have the same haircut: buzzed on the sides, cropped short to middle length on the top. It’s jarring only in its mass coordination, as if an entire demographic decided to replicate a specific footballer. The officer working passport control is friendly and chats with me about his trips to Minneapolis.   “Welcome to balmy Scotland,” he says, as he hands the passport back to me. The taxi drive into Glasgow is shockingly colorless. And it’s only after I’m dropped off at my hotel and I explore on foot that I begin to get a feel for the place. All the buildings …

Leaving

Posted on 1 min read

Despite my best efforts, the anxiety is still real every time I leave Germany. The morning starts like normal: my daughter waking me up and watching Curious George on the laptop while I drift in and out of sleep for 45 minutes. And then we play and eat breakfast, and there’s nothing at that point. But as the day continues, the ache in my chest telling me there’s something wrong (even when there’s nothing wrong), slowly starts to creep in. It grows despite my best efforts to ignore it, starve it to death, so that by the time I’m dropping off my daughter at her mother’s, I’m manic and I …

Evolution of Place

Posted on 2 min read

I like to think that the evolution of Germany for me over the past three years, is like a microcosm of my human experience. What started as an antagonistic place that I tolerated (at best) in order to be with my daughter, has become a place of recovery. It’s a strange place to get clean, but that’s what it’s become for me: I eat well, work out regularly, write, and meditate. And that’s only the time that I don’t spend with my daughter. When I first started coming here, I would leave as a husk of a person. I was mentally and physically demolished, and it took weeks to readjust …

Travel

Posted on 1 min read

You get tangled up with all the travel. You see a clock and you don’t trust it. It should be light outside and it’s not. Today I’m staying on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation outside Phoenix (which resembles Phoenix in being one large construction site in the desert), tomorrow I’ll be in Memphis. Last week Aruba. Alien places. But it’s -28 in Minneapolis at the exact moment that I’m writing this, so whatever.  I can’t decide if time moves fast or slow while traveling. The days are more distinct. At home, they can pass without me looking up from my desk. And yet, when traveling, a week somehow gets lost …

Memory

Posted on 1 min read

I think only time, and begrudging acceptance (and hopefully eventual appreciation) will be the way that I can accept my relationship with memory. Even now, the anxiety I felt over my lack of control of my own memory has started to subside. It’s obvious to me now that you can’t call on it when you need it. It will return to me of a volition that is out of my control, and the context that it returns under will be fragmented, at best: scattered memories, without a before or after, just moments existing outside of time. In some ways that’s beautiful. It is still maddeningly frustrating. But I’m beginning to …