Dear You're U.S. funders,
I want to get you all up to date!
Undoubtedly you've noticed my tendency to tergiversate. This habit is a byproduct to an ingrained fear; that speaking of future accomplishments will cause them to fail. So, most of the time, I keep quiet about my goings on until they are accomplished. One might think of You're U.S. as the grandest test against my atychiphobia. Luckily, there are many fortunate past-tense byproducts from the project.
Since we last spoke I departed from comfort, it has given me much to think about. A days experiences became equatable to that of a season. I am overflowing with news to share. I've chosen to write you as it feels more comfortable than speaking. I've found it difficult to look into the searching eyes of my audience when explaining the gravity of recent experiences. But, as stated, it's time to report!
For six weeks I traveled throughout Florida. In the pictures it seemed beautiful and, aesthetically, that is what's worth showing. But pictures remove the hot dead air, the ever-present taste of dry sweat, and anxiety induced by the unstoppable unpredictability that permeates every action. A photo runs the risk of glorifying the emotional strain of the moment. For example: isolated disrepair along stretches of crude cloud-barren terrain, bike lights draining at the onset of ride as night falls, always an unpredictable white noise. The idea of "Calm" or "security" do not exist. Always one had to prepare for the next days step.
Admittedly I felt safe when staying in the peoples homes, strangely these moment became foreign, and life felt faux, slow, almost counter intuitive. I say this because traveling in the aforementioned manner required every part of my attention, from dawn to dusk. Never before have I felt so clean, empty of unnecessary weight. In a week I went from 145 pounds down to 132. Strangely I craved only fruits, vegetables, and water. Upon my return into a suburban lifestyle my hankering for processed sugar, breads, and meat returned. Interesting, no?
I will say this, the drastic juxtaposition of events and environments created a life in which all things became both nostalgic and shocking. For example, helping a motorcycle crash victim by morning to then walk the halls of a Renaissance museum by afternoon, sleeping in a crack motel and then in a luxury home, passing a roadside bear rigor mortis, being chased by dogs at the break of dawn, and then wiping gnats off my face when talking with reception at Holiday Inn. One's perspective shifts. These are but three examples of the many contrasts within any given day. As you might imagine, there are many accounts, but we will save those for some future conversation.
In July I rode Greyhound to NYC, trying to sort out these experiences. The city was too chaotic so I left for Salem, NY, to help at the arts NGO Salem Art Works, which is where I now sit and write you. In October I plan to ride to NJ and begin again, this time with a better idea of where I am going, whom I'm to meet, and of what I am up against. There is a tremendous amount still to do, but I am closer than before. If you have any friends, relatives or relations in NJ, DE, MA, VA, or NC I would be all to pleased to meet them, with the potential of including them in the ethnographic/art work of You're U.S.
Finally, there are two new profiles in the works 1. A Clinical Psychologist from Saratoga, FL. 2. An indie rock group from Boston, MA.
I've been working hard to find good writers and record revealing interviews to provide our audience with something worthy of their time. When they come, you can expect quality.
With that said let's move to the fun things...
- Recipe books are three weeks out, here is a pic taken two weeks back -
- Say "Hello!" to the newest You're U.S. sponsor, bike panniers by: Swift Cycles -
- In Last couple weeks I retrofitted the bike for the oncoming seasons -
- Artfully Displayed my tools of the trade-
- Recorded a very exciting train story from my first year in Italia many years ago-
- Worked with NPR's Snap Judgement on this nuclear story -
If you think of something that might improve the project, send it this way
-Let me know if you are awaiting your art, postcard, or recipe book.-
-Now, it's time to jump back into the saddle and find this country!-