I've not blogged since April for three reasons (cough::excuses).

1) The weather; if it's not raining, I feel like I'm wasting time being indoors. 

2) I've been a reading fiend; I have taken a timeout from my own personal writing, quit watching most TV, and am making a concerted effort to read as much as possible. 

3) My blog domain (slightobsessions.com) expired and I don't even want to tell you how many hours I spent on the phone with GoDaddy and Google to get it back online. But I'm back now.

Tonight I also opened my road trip memoir draft for the first time in months. It's the most daunting personal project I've ever taken on, but I know it has potential to be the most rewarding. Sharing a short excerpt below—FIRST draft, let's just put that out there—from the day my brothers and I arrived at the Grand Canyon. 
My copy of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die has begun to split its seam and, if dropped, falls directly to page 568—The Grand Canyon, Nature’s Masterpiece. It rests on my bare thighs, open, but I’m not reading anymore. I pull my vinyl lanyard pouch from the zippered pocket inside my purse, plucking our AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL annual pass from its safe place and handing it to Trey as we pass through the gate. It looks like a credit card, but instead of a bank logo in metallic colors stamped across the front, there’s a palm-sized photo of the Nankoweap Ruins at the Grand Canyon, a rust-red stonewall built into the sheer sides of the cliff, with the Colorado river winding along in the background. The south entrance of the park is thick with wide-eyed lanyard toters like us. We loop around the parking lot once before Trey makes his own spot, pulling off the pavement with two tires into the dirt. 
“So. Many. People.” I roll my eyes, because it really does bother me and at the same time I know I sound like my mother, who can’t stand to be among throngs of people for any purpose, state fair, Christmas shopping, or a vacation-destination grocery store the Saturday of timeshare check-in.  
The swirl of thoughts—of home, of Mom, of how much I’m becoming her—leaves my head abruptly. The sky opens up and out, enormous suddenly with nothing between me and it, no trees or buildings within my directly line of sight. We walk the dirt path toward the canyon, leaving the cars behind, and then I see it, like the mouth of Mother Earth split open, the canyon plummets downward as sharply as the sky above it swells. The enormity of the scale is too much, and I feel my brain flicker and falter, as though time slows down, and the light that filters through my cornea, processing and flipping this reflection of the world’s deepest gouge moves much slower than the speed of light. I slow my pace, instantly dizzy. Is this what vertigo feels like?
We are here. We are standing at the front door of the Grand Canyon, what John Muir described as “unearthly in color and grandeur and quantity of its architecture as if you had found it after death, on some other star.” It took the earth 2 billion years—summers, springs, falls, winters—to deliver this. I busy myself with taking pictures, standing just off the path, the tears rising hot and quick, feeling infantile and invisible next to this magnificent pit of wonder and latitude.  
It’s the same reaction I have when I stare at the stars too long or a handful of beach sand too closely. Beautiful things that will outlive me and everyone I love. And yet we’re here, day in and day out, caring about things—should I buy this shirt in blue or green, do I want an omelet or French Toast, should I marry him or join the Peace Corps—things that amount to less than a blink of an eye on the timeline of natural life, world life. Clouds dot the pale blue sky, casting wide gray shadows onto the floor of the canyon beneath us, adding another layer of complexity to the already jagged floor. 
“Masterpiece,” I breathe to no one, just to say it aloud, the words leaving my lips in a pouf of carbon monoxide, mingling with the same pool of air that flows down and across the canyon.

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