I have had a mostly lovely day, visiting with my friend Kim - delicious brunch and then wandering, the latter of which produced a new skirt and necklace. And then a long run tonight. Some tedious course reader work threaded through there. And really, it is sick-hot and humid so, mostly-loveliness or not, my thoughts turn - as they often have been doing lately, during the ongoing course reader debacle - to adventures in other (maybe less hot and humid) places.
The places I've been longing for, these last two months? Which have, for the moment, supplanted my longstanding dream trips to place I've never been?
1. Chicago. Around the end of the school year, I began to dream of Chicago. Enough that I investigated the possibility of spending a long weekend there by myself, just wandering. (Could not afford.) I went there once, with R, for a conference about a year and a half ago. (She often tagged along on my conferences so we could make a holiday of it.) I was absolutely, completely dazzled and enchanted by it. The only other city that's caught me aesthetically like that - unbalancing me, exhilarating me - is Lyon, where I lived for a bit. I have a very vivid memory of standing in an uncharacteristically hot November sun, at some point both among and distant from the skyscrapers, and feeling the kind of sheer glee I almost never feel in adulthood. And I was so taken with the residential neighbourhoods, too, that I even briefly thought of making a concerted effort to get a job there...So, yes, I'd like to lose myself among the skyscrapers right about now...Hmmm...perhaps will try to go there at December break...
2. Walking Holiday in Yorkshire. The contentedly lonesome in me wants this a lot right now. To walk by myself along centuries-old ways. I've spent a fair bit of time in Yorkshire, and it feels like a home for some small part of me. I have a frozen image of a sunlit May afternoon there, too. I'm not sure how it is both frozen and free of nostalgia, that memory, but it is, somehow. Perhaps that is what I like about the place - time always seems to stop when I am there, but it isn't that I lose sight of the now. I suppose it is a contemplative place for me, that's what it is. Yes, that would be nice right now, what with all the relationship figuring I'm trying to do.
I have a little plan to do some research overseas for a couple-few weeks next May, and perhaps I shall try to tack on to the end of it a few days of walking somewhere in England, if not in Yorkshire. Would that it were not almost a year away.
But there is New York this weekend, and that will be grand. And visiting a friend in Vermont coming up in a few weeks. It is not as if I am lacking in places to visit. Just, it is funny what geographies we long for, and when.