Taking stock: a weekend retrospective. Or, why the grass actually is greener. Or, the peculiarities of emotional flashbacks. Or, pancakes.
Drafted September 2012:
“So, what was your favorite part about the trip?” my co-worker asked me.
We had already spent a few minutes re-hashing the traffic I had encountered both on my way down to L.A. and back up again. As if it even mattered in comparison to the rest of the weekend. But I didn’t mind talking about it. It’s easy to talk about the traffic. It makes sense – anyone who has ever driven can relate to the underlying implications of the word “traffic.” When my co-worker started out by asking me how the drive was, I knew what to do with the question. I knew how to answer it. It was simple.
But when she asked me what my favorite part about the weekend was, I paused.
I didn’t know where to begin. I started seeing images from the past two days in no particular order, like a disorganized PowerPoint presentation or an iTunes playlist set on “shuffle.” I didn’t want to talk about it. Not because it was a bad weekend. It was the opposite of a bad weekend. But my favorite parts about it couldn’t be easily explained. Or they could be easily explained but a simple explanation would fail to capture why they were the best parts. Or maybe it was because each event of the weekend had flowed so seamlessly into the next; it would be difficult to take any part of it out of the overall context.
I mean, we’ve all heard the cliché “It’s the little things…” But, it really is the little things. And even though everyone knows that, does anyone really want to hear about the little things? When my co-worker asked me what my favorite part of the weekend was, I could have told her this:
It was standing on the sidewalk outside my host’s apartment, and seeing my ride pull out of the parking garage to pick me up.
It was a booth in IHOP, and ticking off on my fingers all the updates I wanted to hear about my friend’s life, and the subsequent stories, and a plate of pancakes between us.
It was a trip to Sprouts, and impulse buying Cheddar Bunnies, and picking out dessert wines based on the labels.
It was lessons in crowd navigation at Downtown Disney, and cocktails in the Grand Californian Hotel lounge.
It was an art show, and seeing dear friends gathered in one place, and the excitement of reunions.
It was sitting in a charming organic cafe called “Green Bliss” with a friend and drinking the best vanilla soy latte that I’ve ever had.
It was the experience of worshiping in silence, eyes closed, beautifully inundated by the sound of voices singing around me.
It was hearing Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony for the first time.
It was the good-bye hug that promised there would be another hug hello.