Huh? I’m still here?

Hark back to my second post which said “…although I know exactly when “no work” starts” – that date has come and gone, and I’m still here. As I wander the halls at work, people raise an eyebrow – “you’re still here?!” Yes, I’m still here. Very interesting things have made me stay back for two extra weeks and I am starting to think of it as a timely much-needed transition period between winding up one crazy phase and starting another. I’ve been able to sit back and breathe, sort, clean, organize, watch sitcoms and make my farewell gifts for the bosses and coaches (no idea where that came from, but glad it did!). But I still haven’t planned beyond a week of this trip. I surprise myself, constantly.

I meandered into Powell’s Books today as part of this unwind-but-oh-my-God-I-need-to-plan phase. As I stepped in, the strong whiff of floor upon floor of stacked books assaulted my senses like it always does, only this time it broke my heart. I almost teared up, wanting to reach out and be able to tell it in some weird cosmic way how much it has meant to me these last few years. So many hours of sheer bliss – the childhood glee of discovering new titles, thumbing through fresh print, pondering the wisdom within the pages of a used book, three hours of armchair travel in the guidebook section one evening, a sunny afternoon with a writing assignment in the cafe, hunkering down with tea on a grey evening for a pick-me-up, gawking at the jewels in the Pearl Room one day that helped me define travel in one enlightening moment – and now it is time to say goodbye. I want to give it a hug, a whole city-block sized hug. I’ll miss you, Powell’s.


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