I like to read and write. I spend a lot of time inside my head often in the company of writers who spend a lot of time inside their heads, too.
And so some days I have to get out of my head as the saying goes. These days I find it harder and harder.
Inside my head is the chaos of the current presidency and also the ongoing difficulty my son with Type 1 diabetes (who turned twenty-six a few days before the Chaos was inaugurated and the dismantling of Obamacare began) has had with health insurance. The short version is that we decided to, at enormous cost, use COBRA so he could continue using the good insurance I have as a result of teaching at UC Berkeley for about half my life. Somewhere in the harrowing process of dealing with three different institutions--UC, CoNexis and Blue Cross--his Social Security number was recorded incorrectly. Since February: phone calls, the frustration of paying for coverage doctors can't confirm, paying for insulin and hoping the reimbursement will get processed , etc.
I have numerous ways to get outside of my head. I take photographs. I go to the gym. Sometimes I go to the gym and take photographs. My gym is at the Townlake YMCA in Austin. Right behind it, unbeknownst to me until yesterday (I've only lived here for a little over a year) is the Austin train station.
That it was nearby was obvious as I've spent a lot of time waiting for the train to pass when I drive to the gym and watching it curl around the tracks as it crosses the Colorado River not far from the Y. In any case, yesterday, soaking in sweat from and hour of Zumba, I decided to walk up the 32 steps that lead from the parking lot to what I thought was just an empty lot. But at the top of the path, I saw a pile of discarded railroad tracks and sat there to watch the train approach the station.
Then I walked down to the station and discovered an amazing row of abandoned buildings right across from it. Austin is known for the color orange (UT Hook'em Horns) both in its architecture and the flowering plants throughout the city. But it was the blue that caught my eye in this row of buildings.
So I lingered. And took pictures. And thought about some train trips I'd like to take. When I got back to the Y parking lot, I saw a small flock of bright green parrots bathing in a puddle left by the recent rain. I didn't take out my camera. Sometimes it's best just to focus on what is in front of me rather than frame it with a lens. A nearby car pulled out and the parrots flew off in a sparkle of green, leaving droplets of water glinting in the sunshine as they went.
When I got home, I learned that my son had resolved (we hope) the insurance problem. No headbanging for at least another 24 hours. Every day is a countdown. But every day is a also new day.
5/18/2017 07:08:39 pm
Damn!!! I love this, Jane!!! The words and the images. I have never photographed at the train station. And those buildings are fantastic. Don't remember seeing them.
5/18/2017 09:04:09 pm
Thanks, Gia--I was hoping one of my old-timer friends would know what that building was! Maybe my sister?
Love this, Jane. The title, oh yes, been there. Great photos, as always, and even though you didn't snap the parrots, I feel I can see them.
5/20/2017 08:39:26 am
Thanks for reading, Chris--and I do hope to "shoot" those parrots some day. I've heard rumors of them, but that was the first time I'd seen them. They made me a little homesick for those that live in the trees in San Francisco!
7/23/2022 12:12:37 pm
Heello nice post
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