Last night as I returned from my trip to Southern Utah I had some time to think to myself, since I had nothing to do but drive at night, listening to United States Parts 1-4 by Laurie Anderson and reflect on my life and what I had learned. Here are some comments I would like to make about the experience.
1. It is totally worth it to go to Ivins, just to see the red hills next to the town. Notice that I said Ivins, not St. George. St. George's landscape is nice, but Ivins takes the cake.
2. The stars are better at night in Southern Utah too. I easily saw Orion and realized that it had been a while. There were many more visible stars. It's kind of a shame that I didn't spend much time outside at night.
3. Laurie Anderson's United States Parts 1-4 is sufficiently long and engaging to listen to on a road trip, but some of the individual tracks get samey in a hurry. I'm sure it would be much more compelling to have seen the performance in all its glory rather than listen to a recording. Yes, I know that I am a weirdo for even having this recording on my iPod. I promise I won't make you listen to it if you don't want to.
4. On Friday morning, I get to interview for the job that I really really want -- a position at a Danish university. I am excited that I will have the opportunity to interview and that there is a possibility of getting the job, and I am simultaneously scared that I might not get the job. My heart has turned so much to this job and the life it would bring me in the past couple of months, and it's hard for me to envision myself doing anything else right now. If I didn't get the job, it would take some major adjustment (not to mention more hard work to find another job). In the meantime I have plenty of work to do to study up for the interview so I know what I'm talking about. I also realize that getting the job would mean moving away from family and friends, becoming an ex-pat, living in a new culture, having an experience I never thought I would have, and generally introducing some big, big changes into my life. But at the same time, I feel I have changed a lot over the past couple of years, and those changes have made me happier. If whatever changes are coming will continue that trend, I welcome them. Do I dare to hope that this is the way some major blessings will come into my life? And in the meantime I realize that time is passing quickly and my dissertation is progressing, but not as fast as I would hope.
5. It's a relief just to have gotten word about the job. Coming home and checking my e-mail and mailbox every day with no information was killing me.
6. There's not much to see in Central Utah, but when you get to Southern Utah it's worth it.
7. Scipio is still really, really cool. Just because it is. The last time I can even remember being in Scipio was the time my friends and I took a trip to Cedar City for the Shakespearean Festival, which was surely something like 10 or more years ago. Scipio is just awesome; that's all there is to it.
8. There's something about a long stretch of driving that seems to reset or retune your perception after a while. When I make short freeway trips in the city, 65 mph seems sufficiently fast. But after driving at 75 or 80 for a while, 65 seems like a slow cruise, and 40 seems like a bore. Apparently my brain is kicking into "faster driving" mode and it takes a while to move in and out of it. I wonder how that works.
9. Speaking of long road trips, before I lived in Canada I'm not sure I could have handled driving for more than an hour or two at a time. But making the trip between Winnipeg and Fort Frances about a dozen times with me as the only driver became more comfortable after a while. I started to understand why people in Fort Frances will go to Winnipeg just for the day to see a hockey game or shop at Wal-Mart -- it's just not that big of a deal. And this allows me to be very independent, since I can take trips of reasonable length by myself.
10. North America is a big, big continent. And if I end up living in Europe I hope I don't forget that.
Well, those are the kinds of things that I was thinking about on my drive. Thanks to my friends that I visited when I was down South. The weather was beautiful and I had a great time.