All 13 of us, plus Alrik the honorary cohort member, are getting oriented in Dallas. We went to a ballet last night in the Arts District. Wild bunch that we are, we stayed out for a glass of wine afterwards. When we left the bar--crickets. Our voices rang against the empty performance buildings. Lincoln Center hasn't had that effect on Broadway. What's going on here?
The sun flattens SMU. When the bell rings, the Kens and Barbies climb back into their BMWs and Jeep Grand Cherokees to join the stream of machines heading to the suburbs. I've never seen such a listless campus. We don't quite know yet why we're here. Some of us have big voids to fill. Others, urgent dreams to fulfill.
I've unplugged from the necessity of a paycheck. I get just 380 days to make something happen. I have to trust that the logistics I've set up will carry me through--network, vaccinations, budget, bank accounts, storage, tax prep, stay permits. The structured discussions about arts and culture fascinate me as much as this past year's reading did. I've landed in the right place. What better thing could I be doing at this stage of my life?
Then, surprise-surprise. It takes 4 professors and 2 directors to jumble the journey I thought I was on. The prospects for the whole year changes. I listen, excited, disbelieving. I told you we would visit 4 cities in the next year. Insert three more. Brace yourself: I'm going to India and China. This is no longer a program. It's an adventure.
At my age, this is a once in a lifetime chance. I mobilize everything to honor this opportunity extended to me What about family, partner, dog? As my aunt said, "my job is to focus on me, and I've got big plans."
We got Tibby a quinceañera carriage to pull her behind our bikes all over Dallas. Hang in there baby, this year's going to be a bumpy ride.