I wasn’t thinking about changing anything major in my life on the night in August 2011 when a spirit bear grabbed me and started leading me on a journey from the least wild place in North America to the wildest. I wasn’t looking for a vision quest, I was looking for a burger. Navigating the chaos of New York’s JFK Airport, in a mad dash to get onto a six-hour flight back to Seattle, the heat and humidity, the screaming cabs at the curb, the body scans, liquids police, laptop X-ray all behind me, it was time to debate whether I had time for a meal. And if so where?
I’d just wrapped up a weeklong visit with my family in Connecticut that reminded me anew how disconnected I felt from my past. I was going back to the life I had created in Seattle that didn’t seem altogether real to me anymore either. I love my city, but I don’t love my life, was the uncomfortable thought I kept suppressing. Once I’m back home, I’ll have some time to think, I breathed to myself. Meantime, did I have time for a meal before the flight?
Instead of a restaurant, my eyes fell upon a Hudson News stand. Well, perhaps a magazine? I picked my way through the hordes on the same “flight reading” mission, scanning the magazine rows for something. . . .