What a weekend! I’ve just returned from 3+ days in New Orleans and I am utterly spent. In one respect it was a tragedy for ’21 days’, leaving me with no time, energy or desire to work while I was out of town. My mind asks me whether that was wise. I’m refusing to answer. Largely because I don’t know myself. Wise or not, it is now relegated to the past and the past is where I will leave it.
As a trip goes, it was overwhelming in a mostly positive way. I met some incredible people visiting a place new to me. I tried new foods. I experienced a very different culture and got far too little sleep. And, as planned, I danced. Surprisingly, dance was the mixed bag of the trip. Sometimes it was a pleasure, but others a burden which is a bit troublesome when that is the primary purpose of the visit.
Anyway, what I’ve written thus far doesn’t really relate why I titled this post as I did. Overwhelming really was the word I would use to describe this trip. We were constantly on the go. Sometimes it felt as if it were without aim, but always there was an influx of information. I’m certain this is a large part of the exhaustion I’m feeling right now… physically yes, but also mentally and even spiritually. (thus… vacation?) Let me pause a moment to make this clear. It was a fun trip with great people… just exhausting! So, a little highlight film of moments that come in the process of living, some of which relate to the creative process. (Is your idea net open?)
- Food, food, food… With the discovery that I could update Facebook directly from my phone I posted the more interesting dishes. Peanut butter bacon burger, anyone? Trust me, it’s incredible! Oysters – not likely again, but it was a good experience. And of course the obligatory beignet… it was New Orleans after all.
- A lot of walking… I really should make it a habit here in Memphis as well. Did I mention that we climbed four flights of stairs every time we returned to our host’s home? That’s a little rough at 2-3 AM. Such a great way to see the city. Even better when we escaped the touristy streets!
- A conversation with Laura, a local who “fell in love with New Orleans like you fall in love with a person”. She really loves the city despite being very aware of its flaws. The way she related it really stuck with me.
- A educational psychology related conversation that led to what looks like a great resource. Once I get it, I might invite you to join me in reading it and we can talk it up.
- Did I mention a different culture? I’ve never been around so many drunks at one time, nor have I ever been in a place where they spray the streets down every night with disinfectant to clean up the puke. And yet, drivers in the French Quarter were incredibly courteous (save those with big trucks and a fog horn… yes, a fog horn) which was saying something. A festival like that has to be hell on the natives.
- Plenty of dancing… some good, some bad. A departure from Swing to get in some Latin dancing was one of the highlights of the weekend. The music is simply invigorating and filled with life. It also seemed like people were more inclined to join in the dancing than merely watch. For those of us dancing, it was real play!
- In the past, I would have said “I’m getting old.” It’s the classic response when I don’t feel like staying out until 4 in the morning, when I would rather sit quietly on a cool street with a cup of coffee than dance, when I truly feel tired. Maybe there is some truth to that. Maybe, but I think the truth is simply a need for balance in my life. This whole weekend was unbalanced. As if we jumped in the car and floored it down an interstate without a moment’s break. One long road leading to one destination with the only scenery flying by in a blur. That’s just not for me. I need the back road, the scenic route, the unplanned stop to lean against a tree and watch the sunset or daydream.
I suppose that’s enough. Now I’m back home in Memphis. Rest will probably get me back into stride more than anything else, and so I look to tomorrow’s promise with delight and maybe a little anxiety. Not something to worry about. After all, it’s only today. So, filled with new experiences, new thoughts, and new ideas I set down the final words of the day. Time can process them all at her leisure and I will be the better for it.