Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In the clutter

It's on days like this that The Tripper steps back from all the Day Trips and realizes that sometimes the space we inhabit holds the greatest vats of discovery.

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I am sitting on my bed. The Day has not been particularly eventful. After a few morning meetings, I found myself in a free afternoon. The sky was heavy with clouds, but it was no deterrent of my wanderlust. I bundled up and took a Trip alone. An 8 block jaunt landed me in Eastern Market. I bought the following: 2 carrots, a leek, some thyme (unfortunately they didn't have any time for sale, so I went with the herb), an onion, garlic, a little over a pound of chicken, 4 pieces of bacon, chicken broth, a Parisian baguette, some bay leaves, and 5 grapefruit (3 regular, 2 ruby). The kind woman at the market threw in a banana for good measure. I'm not especially fond of bananas, but I appreciated the gesture nevertheless.

My walk back was silent. DC is not a silent place. There is an energy in the air that seems to hum at a constant pitch. Today, the energy must have been too high in the sky for me to hear it. People were absent from the sidewalk. Cars were absent from the street. The snow finally managed to melt down enough to become the sidewalk's lace. I could hear myself think on my walk home. Sometimes the most silent times make for the loudest thoughts.

To speed things up a bit, I will bring you up to real time. After a few conversations with old friends, I straightened and cleaned my room. For those of you who know anything about Day Tripping, Trippers do not always keep things in order; however, when the time comes to move forward, items must be in place (whatever place that might be).

I made a delectable dinner just a few hours ago, cleaned every pot and pan, did some things in between, and now I am sitting on my bed facing my desk. I realized that my neat and tidy turned right back in to clutter over the course of the evening. The things I had straightened up before got in my way, so I moved them around again. The 10-stemmed bouquet of tulips in a glass vase on the counter were slowing down my flow, so off they went to the desk. I have a bad habit of reading more than one book at once, so one on the couch got thrown to the desk to accompany two. There's a stapler (I don't remember the last time I used it, but the minute I take it off the desk is the minute I need it to put one and one together). Several journals of various ramblings are piled under and over one another on the desk. A 2010 calendar is at the bottom of the pile somewhere. Pens in a cup are vertical on the corner. Sunglasses, notepads, tacky stuff to put those pictures up on the wall, blank and burned cds, an empty wine class, a digital clock that never gets attention, a checkbook, a frame that holds pictures of past and present Trippers, blank envelopes, a Moleskin, and fingerprints remain on the desk's surface.

My desk is a perfect picture of Trips, of life. So much of it is clutter, but ironically, it is the clutter that is our lives. We are never really together as far as appearance goes. Neatness is just a veil for the reality of chaos and disorder. We all keep pieces of ourselves somewhere. I once had to gather my most valuable pieces when I was living on the top floor of an apartment building. A firetruck already had its ladder leaning against the side of the building and a firefighter was climbing to the top. I threw four notebooks, my cameras, my phone, and 2 letters in a bag and ran down several flights of stairs. Luckily, there was no damage and I returned to my room later that night, but I will never forget having to choose my most valuable possessions.

The flowers on my desk haven't opened up yet; they will soon. I will most likely take book one and book two to bed with me tonight. I might remove a pen from the corner and pick off a journal to write in after I publish this post. There is a chance I will refill my wine glass; it will relocate from desk to bedside table. The framed pictures will remain along with the stapler.

We go through life and through Trips repositioning ourselves, people, and objects. Sometimes we put things off. Sometimes we find ourselves in clutter. That's life. Clutter and chaos... and beauty. In silence and noise, we're all relocating.

Here's to heavy skies, silence, and sturdy desks.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

state of the union

So I'm taking a break from Tripping all day (went to Freer Museum and DuPont) to share a few thoughts before I head out to watch the State of the Union address....

As I was walking back home on the National Mall, there was a practice entrance for the President. Sirens. A million cars. Military men (I saw no women). Before Obama makes his grand entrance, the Capitol will be brimming with people... men will be armed and ready at the top of the Capitol dome. My friend said, "Right now, we are the are in the safest and most dangerous place." How true.

Some people gather to listen. Some people gather to watch. We all gather. For support? To applaud? To critique? Ablaze are the American people. Each have his/her own set of ideals about how money should be spent, when we should pull out of Afghanistan, if homosexuals should be allowed to marry, and why we are in the "state" we are in. How? When? If? Why? No clear solution exists.

My phone is buzzing. I have million things to say, but for now, I will say goodbye. Watch our President speak. Take into account his words. Know that he is human. We are human. You are human. I am human. We all make mistakes, and as we do, we strive to be better, to correct our wrongdoings, and to move with the speed of life.


Monday, January 25, 2010

what could you Live Without?

Before a run down the Mall this morning, I was reading the NYT and came across the following Op-Ed article about letting go of something you have so someone else has it a little better...


Now for my picture:

Caption: On the way to take a Trip to DuPont, I saw this woman rocking back and forth next to Union Station, a major metro/Amtrack stop in DC near the Hill. To be honest, I noticed her Eeyore stuffed animal first. Then, I saw her.

The Washington Post reported last year that 6,228 people live in DC. Of these 6,228 people, 3,934 are considered "unaccompanied single" people while the remaining 2, 294 people are in families... some are children.

Why are they homeless? Laziness, some say. Others point to a bad economic climate. Maybe the reason is the expansion of the transitional housing programs in the city. One thing I can bet is that they did not wake up one morning and decide to be homeless. The woman outside of Union Station did not throw away all her belongings save her Eeyore and Tigger and hit the streets to rock on the concrete blocks, to gaze off into the distance. I've noticed on many of my Trips that the homeless who are sitting alone are often looking at something I cannot see. I wonder what it is.

Word on the street is that everyone is in pursuit of the "American Dream." The ease at which one achieves this dream varies from person to person; some are born into a reality of the Dream wherein they go their merry ways while others aren't even aware that achieving said dream is possible. Circumstances differ. Talents differ. People differ. Those who are born and greeted with open doors of opportunity sometimes end up the biggest failures. Others who are born to nothing become the biggest successes. What astonishes me most is the failure of the privileged to acknowledge that not everyone can wake up to a Dream come true. Unexpected events happen to people who are on a path of prosperity, and all of a sudden, the magic carpet disappears, the roof falls in, and the streets become home.

Forgive me for soapboxing (I promised not to), but the article really struck a chord with me. Sometimes it takes a young, hopeful set of eyes to refocus the worn out eyes of the traveled. Seeing past a problem or "situation" (as some call it) takes strength and understanding that humanity is never fair... neither is life.

I leave you with a quote from Gatsby: "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. 'Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,' he told me, 'just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages you've had.'"

Don't forget others less fortunate than you in your Trips. What could you live without? Sometimes it's easier to Trip with less baggage, anyway...

Let Go and Dream on,

Friday, January 22, 2010

day in day out

Confession: I don't have a picture for today's post.

Blank space

That's my picture for today Nothing to fill the void It's weird not having something on which to base one's perspective No period No comma No picture No face No name No one Black White You Me Us Trippers

A million things have happened since our last Trip documentation. Politically, emotionally, intellectually... a lot is going on in this world. Floods. Earthquakes. Overturned laws. New faces. New names. This Tripper will get better at documentation, but for now, consider the void. Consider the empty space. How do you want to fill it?

We're all filling blank spaces; every day, something opens up, or gives way, or dies... and in its absence, someone must find a replacement. Each day opens doors for a new generation of thoughts, ideas, people, and with one generation's beginning, another generation ends. We're all in the process of ending. Beginnings and endings have the same outcome; what matters most is the time in between. The promise of significance is what matters most. The hope that filling voids or making up for shortcomings is what elevates each generation to the next level. It's the hope that this generation will be the best generation.... It's the hope that we can, in fact, learn from the mistakes of yesterday. That lesson alone makes us confident that tomorrow and tomorrow's people will be better.

So here's to blank space and tomorrow.

Fill the void,

Monday, January 18, 2010

the missing man

"All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is."

- Aleksandar Hemon, the lazarus project

On a Day Trip to Georgetown, I came across a missing man. I walked past his shoes, turned around, and went back; there sat (or stood, should I say) his shoes, but the man was no where to be found. In true Tripper-style, I took a picture of the shoes in case I came across the man. As of now, he is still missing.

Continuing on my own way, I began to think of people's missing pieces, or missing people who leave behind their pieces. In all the world, people lose and find pieces every minute - We lose and find each other... We lose and find ourselves. Some people lose love; others lose maps. Some people lose people; others lose keys. Some lose direction; others lose their shoes. But it is in losing and getting lost that one finds and is found...

As for the man - maybe he needed better fitting shoes. As for the shoes - I went back yesterday to see if they were still there, and they weren't. New man maybe? I may never meet this missing man, and I definitely will never live in his shoes.... but we did cross paths on the sidewalk one day. Everywhere are missing people that you and I will never know, but that's the beauty of the world.

SO, here's to getting lost and being found...

Get lost,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

look UP

Not an incredibly eventful day for The Tripper. A run down the Mall took me to the Washington Monument.

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I think sometimes we forget to look up. Life is all about perspective. What's in front of us or behind us doesn't always present the best answers to our greatest questions. Oftentimes it's what's just above our reach that opens the biggest doors. So don't forget to look up when tunnel vision takes over... in this case, the sky is the limit I guess one could say.

Ciao for now,

Stay on board for OVERHEARD, and find out what to do if life gives you lemons...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Enough with the introductions

One of my dear friends just informed me that my socialite name is Georgina Tippy Bouvier. I'll take it.

Welcome to The Day Tripper. The Tripper's aim is not to soapbox, nor is it to preach to choirs. We have enough of that stuff as is. The Day Tripper varies from day to day, as does life, you, me, etc. So instead of taking "so long to find out" (as some day trippers tend to tease those who follow them), this Day Tripper will feature day-to-day in raw format. You'll get what you see - no more, no less. The Tripper does not promise, however, that some views won't be a little skewed.

The Tripper will feature photos, music, links, opinions, fashion, inquiries, polls... and is open to suggestions. No one Day Trip is like another. You may not chose to Day Trip daily, but on the days you click on the ticket to ride, feel free to jump in with ideas, opinions, and future Day Trip wishes. Everyone wants to go somewhere; everyone wants to escape the norm to experience a taste of something different. We're all in this together.

Look forward to Day Tripping with you.