Lost & Found

I began this long holiday break alone thinking of it as a lost weekend. Very, quickly, though, I began to think of it as found.

You’ll recall that I was supposed to be scuba diving in Bonaire by now. I’m not complaining. We’re going next week instead. But the sudden scheduling change left me with four full days off and no plans at all. Instead of fleeing the big city for the suburbs or beach, though, I decided to stick it out. If the key component to being deep and simple is creating the time and space to be reflective, well, the time and space fell right into my lap.

So what have I done? Not much. And a lot. I’ve had two private (as in: just me) BBQs on my roof. I finished the Wilco book, plus two from the “33 1/3” series: REM’s Murmur and The Replacements’ Let It Be. I’ve started in on Bo Lozoff’s “Deep & Simple.” I’ve written and recorded two three new songs, “Forever (And A Day),” “Chasing Something” and “Long Gone.” I watched “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” on demand, and “Mission: Impossible III” (I know, I know) in the theater. I ran on Saturday, and rode this morning. And other than my neighbors Joe and Kim, and a few grocery store clerks, I’ve spoken to anyone since Friday.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to be a little bit quieter, a bit less distracted. I haven’t worn my iPod all weekend, for example; not on the subway, or walking down the street, running or riding. It’s amazing how much better one can hear one’s own thoughts when one isn’t drowing them out with noise.

I’ve alternated between feeling lonesome — beating myself up for not going on some adventure — and feeling contented and fulfilled by the simple beauty around me.

Last night, for example, I watched an epic battle between the sun and the clouds. Thunderstorms were blowing in from Pennsylvania just as the sun began to near the horizon. A long band of purplish rain clouds stretched from the south. But the sun fought through, punching great orange holes and spilling forth its light. Given any other expenditure of time, I would’ve missed it.

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