I’M STILL AN ANIMAL
- I choose which side of a sidewalk, park, route to take to optimize the number of dog encounters. Dog encounters still occur about 2% of the time. Aiming for that 2%.
- When apartment searching I am immediately sold by “near Whole Foods”. Imagine the dinner satisfaction of every ingredient at your doorstep. Secondarily hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, green space, etc.
- Completed a seminar talk for my dissertation research. That is no small fact! It was really difficult, but it feels good. I have the kind of learning trajectory that feels like I am always just warming up… time to learn how to keep that heat on. Or is this humility?
my main man, the world, and adventures in fluid dynamics in his words.
SUNNING THESE BONES
Wanderlusting friends make me happy as a clam, as does this place. Megan and Elisa in London. Nostalgia for the present moment, is that possible? These are the days. So happy hearted.
Abbey Road was so normal, it is literally a sidewalk in front of the recording studio, in the middle of a residential neighborhood, two blocks from the tube station, with lots of people running across it and handing cameras back and forth. And that is why it is so perfect! The Beatles just walked out the studio and strolled along in their funky garb, and a miracle was born. It gives me some kind of nostalgia for foggy summer evenings hanging out by the beach and getting a milkshake from Saturn at midnight.
It’s been a toasty 50F in Plymouth, but the sun shone and we took to the beach, the rooftop. Frisbee and picnics to relish the mood. Things are blooming, green buds on trees. A couple of spectacular tulip trees in Central Park in Plymouth that I hadn’t known were tulips before… I love familiar things far from home.
That’s a lot of what Italy was like. Its amazing how the same conditions can bring about the same things! Mediterranean California climate. I like how it smells of dirt and rain, and I like the Italian personality. Sometimes people seemed serious or on edge, but then they would see their friend and explode in smiles. I think they are just more real, and that’s okay if it means I don’t get the extra smiles.
I am reading this amazing book called Reef Madness on Darwin, Louis and Alex Agassiz’. Louis Agassiz founded the Harvard wing of Zoology that is now the foundation of the Harvard Natural History Museum. They fiddled around and worked their brains off parsing differences among each species… we take that for granted especially considering they did this novel work only 150 years ago. Needless to say… I am very excited to move to Boston in a few months to explore the oldest area of American science. Colin accepted a PhD position in Applied Math at Harvard!
F I E L D N O T E S : S I C I L I A
Stylish old men. No beating around the bush. Crowds of guys watching a septic tank get dug up. Ladies in crazy high heels. Unless they are an old mama, then they stoop, shuffle, scowl, and maybe nuzzle your chin in their palm. A scraggly man getting his face shaved in the electronics supply store by the shop owner. Not a barber shop. Lemon trees forever. Yellow lab named Lemon and all the beautiful pups in the world running and sunning on Vulcano. Ricotta, gelato, espresso, vino, pasta alla norma, chickpea and barley soup that tastes like the essence of bread. Rain storms like California, winds like a hurricane in the South Pacific. Flora like Spain, attitude like Mexico. Geography and tourism like Hawaii. Flying in on arrival: mountains and fog like Vietnam.
I am here for field work for my master’s dissertation, looking at the bioavailability of trace metals to diatoms, as well as helping with other projects. This site has underwater CO2 vents because it’s an active volcanic island, and this makes the water slightly acidic. Because of this, it acts as a natural laboratory to study the future effects of increased CO2. It’s a climate change and ocean acidification project! I dig it.
It is a whirlwind of discovery to creatively design an experiment tailored to these local conditions and specific questions. I phrase it that way because I love that science can be creative. I think it really is - or at least that is what I like to focus on, since the other half of my brain is always dancing or thinking about colors, patterns, placement. Of course if there are ‘answers’ they are pure, uncreative except by the power of He that created it!
Nature is very unpredictable. We had a fairly glorious last week with 3 professors and four students including myself. Now I’m on the island for another week and half to see out my experiment in the water and hope it isn’t blown away, though I might on account of these storms. We made up a crazy hodgepodge of languages which never fails to make hilarious confusion! Singing in Spanish, listening to Italian, working/jammin to Gotan Project and Amy Winehouse, teaching English and laughing about Americanisms versus Britishisms… together we all represented the west coast of the US, the east coast of the US, Canada, Brazil, England, Chile, Spain, and Italy.
I am going loco in the coco with the never ending island storm! I can’t work! I want to be in the fresh air, with no wind… All the same I am so lucky to be here. It is invigorating to see how vibrant the world is in all it’s mysterious corners. So happy to be chasing dreams and overcoming fears, learning from different kinds of relationships, flavors, angles of the sun! “All this beauty / you might have to close your eyes and slowly open wide” (The Weepies). Inspired to be alive in my work, my free time, my thoughts, my friendships. I wish I could give this kind of feeling to everyone in the whole wide world. I wish I could hold onto this motivation too! It is a few days early, but you know, grace abounds and He is risen…. feeling that power. I don’t deserve this goodness.