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  • Gerald Tindal

Day 35: The bus

Updated: Apr 25, 2019

KT,


I’m on the Greyhound bus this morning, traveling to Portland. Strange to be traveling in this manner. The morning’s barely breaking and the people unfamiliar. It’s a young and scrappy lot but then travel by planes is really no different if you look close. Lots of people going somewhere. More kids and families but strangers nevertheless. The bus is very quiet and distant, probably from being so early in the day not just people wanting private spaces.


Aaron and I are finishing your website so it’ll be a tough day. Linda keeps telling herself that you would be in Hillsboro anyway and probably busy with settling in with Mads. You’d be part of the new cohort entry to the SPM program and preparing the last two quarters. We’ve been invited to the opening event of the new cohort: Pre’s rock, Hayward field, Bowerman Lab, a tailgate…We’ll join Ellen and crew to show our solidarity with the program: Bringing young adults into the fold of the sports industry in such a masterful manner. Full attention to learning as a metaphor for acquisition and participation.


This dual depiction of learning was highlighted by Ann Sfard over a decade ago. You clearly were more on the participation part of the spectrum. But it lulled you into acquisition. I rummaged through your SPM notebook in packing your apartment and it was a bit sparse on content. More evidence that participation was your thing. A bit spontaneous. Interactive. Lots of attention to others. Listening. Furthering the conversation. Incrementally.


The sun’s just rising over the Coburg hills with a fog over the grass fields of Linn Benton County. It’s so good to be alone with you. I had an opportunity to ride up to Portland with TomBob who’s traveling to read the eulogy for his mom. She just passed away last week at age 101. What a big number. No internet. Phones. TVs. Hell, radios weren’t even invented. Information was carried by voice and print. Newspapers only to collect the wisdom of the crowd in an organized manner. And you were such an internet junky. Your day started on your iPhone. Blogs. Sports. Apps. Scores.


It still hurts. I mentioned this morning to your mom that I’m numb. She thought it better than sad. I’m not convinced. We’re learning to live with you on the side. Inside. But when I really focus on the reality of your life and now your death, I get really, really stuck. Confused. Dismayed. Your mom tells me to get it together. KT wouldn’t have it that way. So I do.


Today’s letter will be posted on your website and not sent to dear friends who have collected around us to help in the transition. We’re trying hard to build back a life with purpose not just function. Unsure how but willing to move on. Pretend. Practice. Quietly so. I’ll be on the bus.


Buddy: We love you so much.


JT


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