What is #CancerRoadTrip and how did it come to be? Read this post to get the backstory!
How does one deconstruct an affluent suburban life?
Living near Tahoe, I have all the equipment for a myriad of sports. Skis for powder, skis for downhill, skis for cross country. Boots and poles. Snow shoes, tennis racquets (I played USTA for years), pickle ball paraphernalia. Kayaks, paddles, vests and clothes. Golf stuff. Road bikes, mountain bikes. Aviation stuff-a parachute, oxygen masks, tools and rolls of white tape (the seams where the wings met the fuselage and the tail assembled were taped for a seamless, efficient flying surface).
Getting the house ready to sell has been a huge endeavor. I’ve lived here for 18 years. This was my “first house” after my divorce and I poured myself into it. It is beautiful. It is perfect. Right now in the middle of winter it offers the warm sustenance, of things, memories and habits. I want to wrap myself in it’s very being, and celebrate all that has brought me here.
And mourn it too.
It is a thing. I know that. But it’s a thing with memories and decades of care. The walls in the library are covered in old maps in homage to my travels and curiosity about the world. It’s an east coast habit of collection that followed me when I moved out west.
Initially I was interested in continental evolution prior to 1800. When you move out west, you realize that a lot of history starts at 1800! So my interests expanded.
From 1609 and John Smith to the Fremont trips that defined the West, my walls tell a story of exploration. Of adventure. I see the continent unfolding through the history and cartography of the times, just as my life unfolds through the decades I experience. Somehow I feel deeply connected to all these old maps and their stories.
When I was a child one Christmas in Rome, one of my gifts was a set of blocks. On each side of the block was a partial map of a continent. If you arranged the blocks properly, you built the continent. I used to speed build continents for fun.
One of my favorite maps chronicles John Law’s expedition to the New World:
The map (to the right) shows the goddess of plenty in the lower right hand corner. To the left, affluent investors are counting their riches. Below the cherubs cut up the worthless stock certificates. And to the right, the everyday men that lost their life savings in John’s Laws schemes are shown killing themselves in despair.
I love this map because while time moves on, the greed, dishonesty and the carnage initiated and inflicted by man, never changes.