When I was 16, I went on what I consider to be my first adventure. It was a church trip to Honduras, and it broke me out of the trajectory for which my life seemed to be destined. At first, this adventure appeared to be nothing more than a temporary disruption: a two week trip before continuing on as a regular high school kid again.
But I went back to Honduras again the next year, the summer before college. And it continued to mess with me. In little ways, at first. I came back to Florida and used the horn on my truck a lot more (for a little while). I also put way less value on fancy sporting gear, after having witnessed people in Honduras play soccer in flip flops or bare feet who were better than I will ever be.
I pulled open the door to the dimly lit sushi joint, smiled, and walked up to the hostess. She looked at me, then beyond me, then at me again. “How many?” she asked. I answered the same way I had answered for the past two days: “Just one. Only me.” From my table for four, I stared out the window at a city now mostly asleep. This dinner, the whole evening, was secretly a celebration. I had taken on a challenge, a dare-to-self, and succeeded: the past two days in Chicago had marked my first real solo trip.
For me, it was a perfect summer weekend. I saw the thought-provoking new Richard Linklater film Boyhood (really, go see it, it is excellent), went kayaking in Brooklyn Bridge Park, ate my weight in watermelon, and biked out to Randall’s Island. What were you up to? Summer is slipping through our fingers...but summer streets are coming! (Have you ever been?)
Editor’s Note: Kristen Minor’s life reads like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist or John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. As far back as she can remember, she’s been aware of “the journey.” Along with her husband, Matthew, she’s covered thousands of miles, through many countries, and recorded their adventures by pen, photograph, and lyric. We’ve asked her to give us her two cents on adventure.
Today I logged on to Pinterest and typed the word “adventure” in the search box.
Long before he arrived in Alaska, I knew Ben wanted to see the Northern Lights. He was joining me for two weeks in the bitter season of cold and perpetuating night to record sounds and discover inspiration for a new album. An original musician journeying to Alaska, he sought an ordinary dream to find peace...and the Northern Lights.
Ben landed in Anchorage Wednesday night. 24 hours later we’d concluded that our best chance to see the Aurora Borealis, as Ben liked calling the Northern Lights, was to head as far north as possible during my weekend off from work. Fairbanks, though hardly halfway up the state, is Alaska’s northern most city and home to a mere 32,000 people. Although driving would take 8 hours instead of the railroad’s 12, I was not sure my 1995 Ford Aerostar van could withstand the total 720+ miles in a 48 time-period. I had work on Monday too.
It’s just about time for that 3:00pm slump, and I almost immediately and without fail crave chocolate. I don’t need too much of it—just one or two pieces will do—but I can’t do without it. Recently though, my afternoon snack situation has changed. A friend posted a recipe with the status, “Get these in your life!” I laughed but thought I’d give it a try.
Summer time is a great season to be active, be inspired, and work with your hands. As Acculturatednoted this week, Americans in general are growing a renewed interest in craftsmanship and labor that requires both mental and physical focus. Are you up to anything that “weaves thinking and doing together” this summer? We’d love to know.
This month, we’re hosting analogue photographer Jayme Markus as our Artist in Residence. Today’s photos were taken in Minneapolis, Minn., and you can see her work from the last weeks here and here. Enjoy, and have a restful Sunday.