February 19, 2009
My body isn't used to conference life. I did go to some off-site readings: Peace-loving Feminist read her just-published novel in a bar, and Mentor Poet read his poetry at a small art gallery. And of course, I went to restaurants, enjoying great food and conversations. But I spent an awful lot of time inside a huge old hotel -- sitting in a stiff chair to listen to a speaker, milling about in ballrooms and hallways to find friends, and walking through a book exhibit that featured more than 800 tables and not a single window.
That's why I got up early each morning to take a long walk outside. My roommate -- who is considerably more wholesome than I am -- would put on her running clothes and go for a run. I'd put on my red winter coat and take my camera, and head towards the lake.
Despite the thousands of people at the conference, and the millions who live in the city, the lakeshore was empty most mornings. Perhaps it was the icy wind that kept people away. When I took my mittens off to use my camera, they'd get cold pretty fast. I'd have the whole wide expanse of water to myself as I walked along the concrete piers, planning my day, thinking about all that I'd seen so far, and just enjoying the time alone while behind me, the rest of the city began to wake up.
Posted by jo(e)