Friday, August 9


earlier this week we drove in my little blue car through several mountained places, between majestic canyon walls, into valleys and out of them again, up and down, back and forth, out across the plains, down and down and down. toward home. inexorably away from vacation-time, back to regular life (whatever that means).

the elevation here in Louisiana is 118 feet above sea level. that's not even 40 yards. not even half a football field above sea level. no wonder our backyard becomes a giant puddle every time it rains.

last week, miles and miles west of here, I was no less than 4,000 feet above sea level at all times, and sometimes almost as high as 8,000. we hiked. we picnicked. we chased nieces and nephews around and took family photos. 

and then we had to leave.

I imagine I felt every foot of the descent as we drove, this time. every mile of it.

by the time we crossed into Texas on Tuesday, I was starting to feel as flat as the stretching llano estacado plains. one part of me was eager to be home again, ready to work and finalize preparations for fall semester... but most of me was already really missing the mountains and family.

it might be another full year before I see my family again. that span of time didn't used to seem so long. being several thousand feet below and almost fifteen hundred miles away didn't used to seem that far really, either. but now it does. 

I'm trying let gratitude keep me lifted up, even though it feels pretty depressing to have left all the relatives and mountains behind us. I'm really lucky and glad we were able to travel so many miles and make so many good memories this summer. so lucky.

I guess now it's time to anticipate the next family gathering. and in the meantime, work, write, teach, and try to do some bits of good in the world.

as a postscript, I've got a few decently good things to show off about lately:

a reworked version of one of my dissertation chapters is now officially an online article in a special issue of Digital Humanities Quarterly. you can read it here if you like.

a collaborative article I've been working on with some Purdue Polytechnic colleagues has also just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Technology Studies. not sure when it will come out, but that's another exciting thing to anticipate.

I got to be a part of a twitter conference last month. it was pretty different, but also fun, to share my scholarship for a new audience on such a platform. I hope people liked it. the thing still exists in its original twitter thread and here in a "twitter moment." it's always cool to talk about LibriVox, I say.

and speaking of LibriVox, my most recent LV contributions have been to an early twentieth-century feminist novel called With Her in Ourland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. it's incredibly interesting stuff, and some of it seems relevant now, a whole century later.

next on my list of things to record for LV: City of Din by Dan McKenzie. I've got the 100-page text split up into suitable sections and now I just need to start recording them. soon, hopefully...

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