Sunday, June 27, 2010

Destinations, Discovery, and Disappointment

"I come here to find myself. It's too easy to get lost in the world." -- University Circle park bench.

On weekends, when the weather is decent I tend to go out for a walk. The more stressed or off kilter I'm feeling the longer and more aimless the walks tend to be. The destination of these ventures is no destination at all, well, strictly speaking that's not true: Each one begins with the immutable fact that some how, some way, I will circle back to my home. Precisely when, why, and by what path or intermediate destinations is up to whim.

Given the somewhat sweltering heat -- 95.3 in the shade according to my house at the time I write this -- I oscillated about walking or not. I decided, though, that I needed to get out of the house. 11.2 miles, an three and a half hours give or take, later I'm back.

My walks rarely follow the same path but frequently include the same destinations: I'm a sucker for the beauty of Shaker Lakes and like to take in the Cleveland Museum of art by seriously contemplating the art in one gallery each weekend. When I left my home this morning I wasn't sure if I was going to visit either -- I let my feet find their own path including some streets I haven't before traveled, and wound up cutting through Cain Park, south on Taylor, a left at Fairmount, wandering by the Baptist Church, a few aimless jogs and turns, Horseshoe Lake, Lower Shaker Lake, back down Fairmount, through the CWRU campus, around Wade Lagoon, around--but not through, today--The Cleveland Museum of Art, through the CIA parking lot, Little Italy, down Mayfield, and finally back home. Still disappointed, still off kilter.

I didn't find what I was looking for, despite not knowing what I was looking for.

Essentially my off-kilterness comes to one source: There's a question I need to ask. I don't think I have a right to ask the question, and I'm pretty sure I already know the answer, but the optimistic part of me is hoping that I've misinterpreted and therefore the question needs to be asked to get me out of the achromatic funk. I'm uncomfortable with grey, I always have been uncomfortable with grey. But I know in asking the unaskable question it seems probable, even likely, to irrevocably alter the course of human events. As I have plans for the Friday following next that I'd prefer not to alter, nor to make my guest in the least bit uncomfortable or give any cause not to enjoy the evening, said question cannot be asked until the conclusion of that event.


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