And then a bit more…

When I told you I was leaving Chicago to ride a motorcycle with my father to Argentina, didn’t we all stand around and look at it as if it would be so long and so far from where we stood just then? Didn’t we think it was so much time and so many happenings away?

One of my favorite books (you won’t be surprised to hear, I think) is Madeleine L’ Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.  In it is the idea of a tesseract- the author describes a right and left hand holding a string taut between them.  She writes that an ant would be able to cross the span by traversing the length of the string, but that there is a faster way: bring the two hands together and fold the distance.  A wrinkle across the distance of time. On the verge of returning, i can feel right and left drawing closer to one another.

My father and our friend Danell left for New Mexico yesterday afternoon – they should be home and resting around now.  It is an uneasy feeling to be on different continents after so much time and yet I know that for both us our return is an odd thing.  We’ve been making attempts to fade in to the background of Argentina – a passive and indiscernible protest of change.  Likely, there will be a kind of relief on the other end that I can’t quite see yet.

Buenos Aires is an incredible city.  If you get the chance, you really should come here.  Broad, open boulevards, twisting trees lining up along the streets, beautifully painted French colonial houses, parks, and outdoor cafes full of heady and dramatic conversation.  It is something made up of parts and yet fully its own thing.  You find yourself biting the lure of the sing-songish porteno accent, the tango, and the artsy-gritty feel that the city lays out for its tourists.  My father and I have long since left our appetite for churches and historical sights behind.  Mostly, we’ve spent our days wandering.  I can’t say that it’s the best or better way to come to know a city, but it is certainly an enjoyable one.  We’ve also hit the tourist markets: San Telmo for antiques, La Boca for tourist schlock, and Palermo Soho for boho chic.  We’ve taken in a tango show and a musical history of the arrival of the horse in argentine history. Best of all we’ve been in the company of friends traveling great distances to see us.  And. We. Have. Eaten.  So much beef, I don’t think I can appropriately describe.  Wine is as cheap as a trip to Starbucks, so there’s been plenty of that also.  It has been a final two weeks of indulgence.  Another protest, I’m sure, to our imminent return to normalcy.

I head to Albuquerque on Monday.  We still have to retrieve the bikes from Denver, the closest spot we could get them to New Mexico.  I had entertained notions of shipping to LA, but the reality of worn tires necessitated a closer option.  I still have a notion of heading west for a few weeks, but it requires some financial assessing.  I hope to keep writing to you here and sharing the experience of “what now?” –it is the next adventure.  I’m taking suggestions.



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7 responses to “And then a bit more…

  1. Well, portland is lovely this time of year.

  2. booms

    vuelvas a chicago. ahora. es nuestra sugerencia.

  3. Apphia

    I’m still dealing with the “what next?” of my post-Steppenwolf trip to Spain three and a half years ago, so I hear you. I think these things are hard to see in the moment. I’d say rest, catch up with friends, and see what opportunities present themselves. It took me 8 months of working in a cafe to decide I wanted to go back to school, and now my journey here seems inevitable. But of course it wasn’t . . . Be open to what inspires your imagination.

    • heathermikael

      thanks for the great advice, apphia- i totally dreamt about you last night, how funny! my brain has decided, i guess, that its been way too long! i’m glad to hear that all is well with you!

  4. i. had. no. idea. wow. come to the bay area!! looks like i have a lot of reading to do.

  5. Pat McFarland

    Hola Mike and Heather,
    Sounds like an incredible trip you had. Heather I guess your a seasoned rider having considerably more than the 500 total miles in the saddle you had when we met you on your first day in Mexico.When we left you I thought that’s pretty gutsy but the OJT seemed to work out for you.Hope to meet you guys on the road again .

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