Got time on your hands? Today’s assignment: Write a piece with Jet Lag and Zucchini as a title. Go!
Mine is simple. I was cooking a Thai Yellow Curry, vegetables over red rice, and wanted a zucchini. I didn’t have one. So out I went in the dark, cold 6 pm air in light sprinkling rain in search of a store. First stop, one block away on 3rdAvenue. Carrots, onions, avocado, but no zucchini. On to 5thAvenue. Closed. On to 10thAvenue–didn’t see one right away and was considering if it was worth it to continue to 15thAvenue. How much did I really want it? And then Bingo! A zucchini! Back home and cooked the curry. So far a pretty riveting story, yes? J
Early that day, I was in an online poetry class where the poet was talking about the change in his life from flying all over the world giving talks and dealing with jet lag. In this respect, our lives were parallel and he noted that one blessing of no-travel was less wear and tear on his body. I could relate. Arriving somewhere after a long plane ride, meeting the welcome hotel bed, but often awakening in the middle of the night and having to teach for six hours the next day. The first three days of teaching wrapped in a kind of fog as my body in canon was trying to catch up to itself. That moment were I could feel the click, the two bodies merging and back to normal. But then in a few days or a week or so, the return trip and another three days of the jet lag drama as I returned to teaching kids at school. Wear and tear indeed.
How to connect these two stories? Both were trials asking me how much I was willing to sacrifice for what I thought I cared about. How much did it mean to me that I was willing to walk the 20 blocks round trip and contemplate 30 blocks just for one zucchini? How much did it matter to me that I was willing to get a visa if necessary, pack my bags, take the BART train to the airport, fly from 3 to 17 hours, teach for three days in a jet-lag stupor on one end and another three of the same the other end? Apparently, enough that I did it time and time again regularly during the last 30 years.
Now the level of sacrifice is simply agreeing to sit in a chair facing a screen and especially with the opportunity to walk out in the world for three hours after sitting for three hours, the body is indeed much happier, the ozone layer is happier, the time freed up from not traveling, preparing to travel, re-orienting after travel is appreciated.
And yet, I would get on the 20-hour flight to Australia in a heartbeat for the chance to actually stand in a circle holding hands with people and spend the day singing, dancing, playing music together. I do care about it enough to make that sacrifice, jet lag and all.
And then after the workshop, I’d walk to the store to buy a zucchini.
But only 10 blocks.