For a week, I spent the better part of each day in shorts, a tank top, and flip flops, and the light sweaters I carted everywhere with me when I went out came to seem ridiculous for their unnecessity. I basked in my big and crazy family--parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmother--saw places I love, swam in the (still sort of cold) ocean, ate ludicrous foodstuffs, and generally forgot all that sucked here the week before I left.

But, of course, you can only stay blissfully away for so long, and last night I came home to a phone still on the fritz (small annoyance, but an enduring one), a To Do list that grew literally by the minute, the sinking (though not surprising) understanding that the days ahead must involve dealing with the K weirdness that cropped up before I left, and the even sinking-er sense that the chance of things turning out well on that front are anorexically slim.

As I cruised along the people mover in the United terminal as I headed out of town last Tuesday, something in me that had been unsettled and shakingly sad in the previous days started to calm, and I thought, Travel is a balm, always. And for me it is: regardless of where I go, a change in perspective almost always makes me feel whole again, at least for a while.

What I've yet to master, though, is how to come back home and keep hold of that wholeness, rather than splitting up again into so many parts. I don't know how to go about that, and I'm too busy to figure it out. So for now I can only do the next best thing: make it through the week, hope for some moments (if not hours or sweetly impossible days) of clarity, and look hungrily toward Europe in September.

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