• My Brain On Crack,  Time Machine

    2009 in the rear-view mirror

    A year ago I had just moved from a country that didn’t want me to a bare echoey white place hidden under a stifling canopy of tall dark trees. I adore trees, and loved lying in bed looking at green branches, but the bare echoey place had an inner emptiness that rang loudly in my ears. Plus it had weird carpet. In the spring I discovered forested trails and alternate universes. I sat, motionless, sometimes for hours, staring out through a skylight and eventually emerging into a giddy, childlike state, a person who thought lakes were oceans and wondered whether she should be driving real cars. A year ago I…

  • Ho, Earthling!

    Brilliance

    Q: Does time really slow down when you’re in an accident? A: Yes. Oh yes. I bought a motorcycle. The whole idea originated at about the time I fell out of an airplane, when doing things that made my heart stop and that created the World’s Largest Sudden Outburst of Endorphins made a lot more sense. I left New Zealand with the conviction that above all else, I must procure a motorcycle license, and soon! The class to get the license was sort of funny. About two-thirds of the students already owned motorcycles, had been riding around illegally on them for years, maybe, and were just now getting around to…

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  • Go Places,  Ho, Earthling!,  My Brain On Crack

    Skydiving

    Yeah, so I jumped out of an airplane the other day. It’s well known than New Zealand is famous for bungy-jumping. When we got here there were countless airport brochures covered with alluring photos of smiling people about to hurl themselves to their doom. I thought about skydiving and it seemed sane by comparison—only a little daring like a walk on the foot-high barrier next to the path instead of on the path itself, rather than bungy-jumping daring of hurling yourself right off the cliff next to the path. I could do that. “Karen’s going to go skydiving,” Matthew remarked to his mom right after we got here. (He had…