Posted: October 9, 2006 in Uncategorized

Air travel within the US has become an unconscious task for me. Pack, ticket, security, coffee, gate, seat, wait, connection, wait some more, bags, car, hotel. And not just from the past year’s worth of travelling, but I’ve been touching down in new cities in impossibly airborn metal tubes for as long as I can remember. But despite the familiarity of unfamiliarity, there’s still something disconcerting about leaving home and landing in a completely new place in the dark. Through the marvel of modern aviation, in the same day you woke up in your own bed, that night you find yourself sitting at a generic hotel desk, in a room that looks like every other room in any other hotel in any other city, without the slightest idea of where you are on a scale smaller than a few hundred miles. Any sense of whole, of perspective of where you are, is completely lost, gone as quickly as your idea of which direction west is. That first night, in the dark, in a new city, you are lost in a forest of concrete, waiting for morning to get your bearings while the babbling stream of freeway traffic and the rustle of the ice machine stir outside. The next several days I’ll be getting my bearings in Boston for the first time in more than 13 years. Hopefully I’ll get a little time to enjoy the city itself, although I’m sure it won’t be nearly enough.

Sunday was Danna’s memorial service. The size of the turnout alone spoke volumes about who Danna was, and what I really came away with the most was that there were so many aspects of her that I never got to know that I really wish I had. The fact that I’d only ever seen her in town, while her real home and passion was out in the field, made me realize that I’d probably missed out on some of the best of her. Given my newfound appreciation for the Oregon outdoors over the past few years, I really would’ve liked to have shared in that. But, from the speeches and photos, it’s clear many other people got to, and that’s a very good thing.

I knew it going in, and I was even more sure of it leaving; I can’t be too sad for the end of a life so well lived. I can only be sad for those deprived of their company.


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