Last week's question was why my trip to Finland was important.
Nora: Huth, your blaaaahg was different this time than last year's blaaaahg from Venice.
Me: Yeah, I know. But what did you notice?
Nora: Your No Gondolas blaaaahg was funny, but this one wasn't.
Me: Um, I knew it wasn't going to be funny as soon as Geof advertised it as a "funny travel blog."
Nora: Yeah. Well, this trip had a different purpose, I think, and that came through in your writing.
Me: How so?
Nora: Well, last year's trip to visit me in Venice was about traveling by yourself and having fun, right? You were in a strange, transitional phase, I remember. It was the first time you ever took a vacation by yourself, and you were hesitant and not sure you were worth the cost, right? But you got over that and had a great experience.
Me: Um, yes.
Nora: So this year's trip was more about traveling and creativity, I think. It was more focused on some of the issues you've been struggling with more recently about your creativity, and you had some time to experiment without worrying about sightseeing every day.
Me: True, although Karri took lots of time to show us all over Helsinki, Naantali, Mietoinen and Turku. Because of him, I got to feel as if I were not merely a tourist in Finland. And, actually, that's what you gave me in Venice last year: a perspective that allowed me to feel as if I were living there, not merely being a tourist.
Nora: True, grasshopper. And you did a reading and actually enjoyed it. The Huth I knew way back would never have been comfortable doing that.
Me: True, but that was because of lots of things. Although I wasn't really part of the visual poetry workshop, Karri really went out of his way to make me feel a part of things, not just Geof's wife. The simple fact that he allowed me to read in Turku was a wonderful thing that I appreciate more than he can know. And I got to read with some really amazing people who have been working at this for years and who have made important reputations for themselves. And then there's me, who didn't write anything other than student essay criticism and grant proposals for 20 years . . .
Nora: Huth, I always knew you could do it. And you're working at it now.
Me: I know.
Nora: I know. You've come a long way.
Me: Um huh. I know. Did I tell you that at strange, random moments, Karri reminded me of you?
Nora: No. You'll have to explain this.
Me: I will. Sometime.