Google maps chirped in my lap, another suggestion for a route around congestion ahead. I took the suggestions: my tablet has evolved into a capable guide, even on familiar roads.
There have been many during the past couple of weeks, captured on my tracking map. Poole is the bottom extension, working and walking Dorsett. The leftward branch is the Gloucestershire weekend, the excursions north are to work at Colworth, while the branch right leads to Cambridge. There’s a tangle around Reading, but no visits to London (although I am fidgeting to see the new Tate extension).
‘Not an atypical period. But,with three hour journeys Poole to Cambridge as a yardstick, it’s also indicative of the amount of road time and my need to consolidate locations.
Last night’s drive to Cambridge took nearly six hours, slow traffic punctuated by accidents everywhere because of torrential rains. The occasion was my class’s graduation, held on a spring-like evening at Clare College. Congratulatory speeches and celebratory drinks flowed throughout. I caught up with colleagues and friends about their travels and companies, shared my recent experiences and traded leads and contacts. It would be nice for you to get one more zero…, suggested the department chair, pointing out a fellow who recently exited for $40 million and has made a big endowment to the University. It’s an old joke: Accomplishments are valued differently by the company’s parents than by its mentors.
The ceremony closed around nine and I walked back to the car, quiet streets and light drizzle, building a small portfolio of Hopper-esque window scenes along the way.
The evening’s speakers had pressed the importance of purpose and passion in creating a business. It echoed discussion of what it means to create a body of work, and a lecture on how labour defines or alienates people.
Too often, perhaps, my passion has been to succeed at what I do, independent of the content that I create. The result is an impressive list that lacks cohesion: the threads really do need gathering into a better narrative and as a whole.
What picture, really, have I painted in the brushstrokes of my travels during the past two weeks?