What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

03 February 2019

Past vs Present

Austin has a new library. It's fantastic.
I'm in Austin this week, visiting my sister and seeing some of the beloved people and places that have helped make me who I am. It's an ongoing joke/truism in Austin that things around here change in a hurry, and not always for a better in the eyes of the locals. And while you don't have to leave for a couple years to see it--just waiting around one's own neighborhood for a few months will do--coming back to visit every six months is a fast way to muddle all the mental maps I used to have.

New pedestrian plaza on UT campus
Capital Metro, for instance. A bus system I once knew as well as the inside of my own apartment. I knew that major changes were coming--there were signs up at every bus stop when I was last here in May, plus I keep up with the Twitter chatter around transportation in Austin. But last night Denise and I were driving home from "my" HEB (which has also been rearranged, by the way) and talking about buses that are rerouted and stops that we used to use that are now gone altogether. I had no sooner said aloud, "I need to look at the CapMetro map and see what's changed," than I saw a sign for the upcoming Austin Marathon, indicating that the route is going through East Austin, a place it never went in the years I was running, volunteering, or spectating. So I added, "And I guess I need to look at the marathon map, too."
Places adapt and change. Kids grow up. People move away. Businesses close up shop and others open, buildings are torn down and new ones spring up. This is true everywhere, not just Austin--I've seen it happen plenty in the short time I've been in Cincinnati. And while I have my own reasons for clinging desperately to a time that is gone, the truth is that I know full well those days are never coming back again. My first Austin bus route is gone forever, the local supermarket can't serve customers who don't exist, and I'll never go back to one of my former apartments, open the door, and find Chadwick on the other side waiting for me to come home. The world is moving on and I've already gone with it, whether I like it or not.

Ai Weiwei's "Forever Bicycles" is here on a long-term
. For that matter, it may be gone; I haven't been
round to look yet. It's new since I lived here and will also
be moving away again.
On the other hand, the Austin Half Marathon course has reverted to the one I ran for the first time and loved back in 2009, and while I'm not going to be here in two weeks' time to experience race day in
person, there's nothing to stop me from running some of those miles this week. Not for the sake of reliving the past, but rather to get all the joy I can out of the present.

And I hope that's what you're doing this week, too.