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I'll take life for $1000, alex.

Ah, Jon Rodgers. At least it's summer, I can sleep outside... Summer is here and passing rapidly, and I'm missing it, and I kind of don't care, because circumstance is forcing me to have to sit this one out. I really wish I could over-engage in Rhode Island beaches and New England coastlines, of sunrise and rocky state parks, but it's almost like I've overstimulated myself beyond recall and it's time to move on. I love the beach. I love everything about summer here, except the jellyfish. I love picnics and being active and everything that goes along with it - and I don't think I've ever decided to sit out a summer, as far as I can recall - but this one is here, it's hot, it's flying by, and I'm a little more concerned with how my whole life is going to fit in my car than how early we're getting up to hit the shores on any given weekend day.

It's looming. Twenty two days, and every one for the two weeks prior has been filled with some major revelation or nervous breakdown.

On some rough calculations, we can hit Akron, Ohio about 8 hours out from New Haven to get to a meeting, and then stop whenever we stop - I'd call up Mary Jones but I think Chicago might be too far to try to get to in the first day, or maybe not. Then it's wherever the lengths of days take us until we have National Park Time, which includes stopping by Badlands National Park, the Crazy Horse monument, and Mount Rushmore. We'll detour a little bit to get down to the Grand Tetons (where my father had always said he wanted to see the sunset, and I am acting on faith that our schedule at that point will allow for good timing), and then we'll be cutting back up that long stretch to Seattle. It's literally coast to coast, it appears (by a big map, anyway) that 90 ends in Seattle, and fittingly, so will we. We'll have to go down to Long Wharf or something and take a picture in front of that oceanfront, and end the trip with some inlet waterfront when we get out west, and we'll marvel at everything that went on inbetween... I want to document my journal with Polaroids (in addition to real photos, of course).

It's been coming to my attention, through abundant writing, open processing, and over-emoting, that there are a few people out the world that have lit up for me, or I should say, where we have lit up for each other, and I'm taking the care to pay attention to them. The parallels my life has run with Kristin and a few other people can not be denied or brushed away, swept under the rug and unaddressed. It's important. These interactions are important.

It's also been coming to my attention that people will buy just about anything on eBay, as it turns out, I'm financing my whole trip on it. I might even have enough left over to replace my stolen iPod.

And lastly, but really first-ly, I am alive, and beautiful, and amazing, and sometimes I'm sunsets and tornadoes all at once, but I'm a woman and a writer and I have good taste in music and I'm capable of giving and receiving love, and I'm not wanting to get all Stuart Smalley on myself, but rather to validate and at the very least verbally wrap myself in clean cotton gauze and take care of my heart and soul and wounds the way I would not hesitate to take care of others... it's time for the Universe to help take care of me.

Like in Once last night, tired as I may be of it, I get to make mistakes and gain wisdom. And my pursuit of that, the inevitable bliss and disasters that ensue, has to be enough. The journey through and to that, for this chapter, has to be enough.

vvb

Victoria Uhl