But even before I went to Seattle I had intended to write about the Minnesota Shapenote Convention, which reminded me of how very much joy and fulfillment I can find in the singing. It is not all rapture all the time, but you keep plugging away on a regular basis because those times that do yield rapture are addictive and all-encompassing. You never know when the switch will turn on, so it's not as if you can attend only those singings that will cause your heart to soar. In fact, it is the regular singing and background effort (see my earlier post on cooking for an army) that enable you to drop all care and lose yourself in the total immersion that characterizes the singing at its best.
I didn't write about the singing last week because before I take a trip, even a small one, I find that I double my work effort so that I can clean things up and get things out for review before I leave. I say with absolute seriousness that the more time I take off to travel, the more productive I am at work -- at least to a point. I am a wild dervish of work energy in the days before departure. But I am not a contemplative journal writer, even when I can find the time.
I'll probably be disentangling my impressions of the previous two weekends here on this journal and will most likely violate my one entry per day guideline. I need to pull apart my two big weekends into self-contained stories, rather than list the minute-by-minute activities. Consider this fair warning. Also, travel and time wholly away from my work concerns often gives me new perspective. I'm trying to figure out what this means.
So for now here's a Dramatic Seattle Photo, taken by my father. Sitting over breakfast are baybryj (who flew to Seattle from SF to attend the party I hosted at susandennis's condo), me, and my mother. We are at The Athenian Inn at Pike Place Market, overlooking Elliot Bay. We are eating scrapple and clam hash and kedgeree and chourico with eggs. The Athenian Inn is apparently famous because a scene in Sleepless in Seattle was filmed here, with Tom Hanks sitting at the counter. I came across this place during my first trip to Seattle 25 years ago when they had shad roe on the menu. When the USENIX-LISA conference was in Seattle I would get up at 6 am and walk down the hill to eat breakfast there, looking out over the bay which was always enshrouded in fog and rain on early November mornings. It felt very romantic.
I still think it's a cool place, although I may finally have gotten my fill.
Anyway, here we are (click for expansion):
More to come