Now that the visit to grad school town is over, I’m on the opposite coast. It’s beautiful here. As I said to Sir John when we were talking about the last trip, people are always going to irritate me, so the physical environment really matters to me. Here we have bougainvillea, oleander, eucalyptus, and jacaranda, so I am very happy. We also have foofy drinks and good food.
You know how some people wake up at cock-crow, and some at sparrow-fart? I’m conditioned to get up at Glendower-chirp. (Yes, he’s a cat, but he chirps. Maybe it’s a prrrp, but I call it chirping.) So even without Glendower, I was awake at dawn this morning, and since Queen Joan and Lady Maud are not so extreme in their habits, I applied myself to writing and staring at photographs of a manuscript for three hours. This is supposed to be my vacation, but what I really want is just not to work on service or teaching. Writing is grand.
I’m still processing the visit to Hill Town, though. It was good to see people, but I was very glad to leave, and that surprised me, because I loved being there for graduate school. But graduate school has a time limit built in; you know you won’t be there forever, and you can feel nostalgic for the place before you even leave, just knowing that it is temporary.
I like hills, but I like being able to see long distances, too. California hills tend to provide a big view: a bay, the ocean, the Central Valley. Climbing the hills of Hill Town just reveals . . . more ranges of hills. Better the flat midwest, where I can feel the space opening around me.
Also, I love cities. There are lots of people living there who seem to feel that when you are tired of Hill Town, you are tired of life. Those people are hard for me to take. When I say “city,” I mean a minimum of 750,000. I am so glad I got a job that lets me live on the fringes of a really big city, even at the price of my commute.
And these are just the fairly superficial things that trip pointed out to me. I’ll do another post soon about job-related thoughts.