Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ending Radio Silence

I could tell you a really long story about how and why I haven't written in a while... but that would prove far too boring for you and way too self indulgent for me. So allow me to simply say, its been a hell of a last seven months.

So where the hell am I now?

Toward the end of an absolutely hellacious and gratifying semester of printing, papermaking, full leather binding, and a little reference on the side, tragedy struck my town. At 4:30 am on April 27th I woke to the rumbling sound of thunder. Unlike any thunder I have experienced before, this thunder was a continuous rolling growl. The early morning sky was lit with lightning that flashed like a strobe light. Flooded with bright white light, walls vibrating from the growling of the storm, my little pile of bricks they call a house never felt so flimsy. I knew then it was going to be a bad day.
I went to school, did my thing. I was prepared to sit down and watch my professor bust out some genuine book binding bling when the siren cried from above our heads. As we watched the TV in the coffee shop from the first floor of the library, we realized this was not just a warning. Five minutes later I found myself packed into the basement, pressed against the back wall so as not to be crushed by the stacks. The lights went out. We sat in silence for an hour, staring into the pitch darkness, wondering if we would have homes to go back to. Some of us would.

You've all seen the pictures and heard the stories (personal friend, btw) so I will spare you my side of it. Somehow, everyone I know was uninjured. Many people lost their homes, many more lost their sense of comfort. Afterward, the community came out and together we dug friends out of their homes, packed cracked and broken belongings into boxes, and drank many a beer to commiserate and try to remember what normal felt like. Perhaps someday I'll be able to fully express what happened that week. This brief account cannot do it justice. Soon after I felt a desperate need for my family. So... I packed up my little Subaru and hit the road for the summer, most of which I had already planned before the tornado hit.

First stop was Washington D.C. to visit my brother. I hit up the museums, spent hours watching the elephants at the zoo, tracked down every bookstore I could find, and of course had some beer and falafel.

From D.C. I set off again for Saugatuck Michigan for one of the most enriching experiences of my life. This invigorating event will be discussed in a later post.

Two weeks later I hit the road again to meet my family in Yellowstone for our bi-annual pilgrimage. It was majestic and beautiful as per usual but it snowed the entire time. Then home to good ole Es El Si where the food is good and the beer flows a plenty. I have spent the last few weeks spending time with my family, hanging out with good friends, reconnecting with old invaluable friends who will always be a living part of me, staring at the mountains, and doing research for my impending thesis. More on that will be discussed in a later post.

Now I am preparing for my final yet most exciting summer excursion. In less than a week I will be going to jolly old England to study UK libraries, repositories, and archives. I'll be staying at King's College and when I'm not sneaking through the stacks at the British Library I'll be spending time with my dear Noodlle.

So that is my absolutely-bat-shit-crazy-busy-summer thus far. Oh, and the odometer on my car has 4500 miles thus far from this little excursion. Plan on 1800 more by Saturday...

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