Lee Linderman, a student at the USC Gould School of Law, writes a nice piece for Zócalo about searching for silence on a Thanksgiving visit to the Minnesota farmhouse where he grew up.
The perils of travel, and the constant whirl of sound, were hardly limited to the airport. On this particular Thanksgiving, my circuitous route brought me from Los Angeles to Chicago for 36 hours, to my Dad’s house in St. Paul for a couple of days, and finally to the farmhouse in Owatonna, Minnesota, 80 miles from my Dad’s house. Along the way I connected with bits of my past. Chicago was a blur: seeing old friends, meeting new ones, eating Gino’s East pizza, watching a football game at Wrigley Field, laughing, yelling, cavorting. St. Paul involved my Dad, traffic, a Timberwolves game, and a movie.
It wasn’t until I reached Owatonna that I complete my journey to the place where I first began to find my identity. Of course, even traversing the 80 miles from St. Paul to Owatonna proved difficult. Freezing rain peppered the freeway and swirling gusts pushed my car from side to side. The wind howled through the imperfect window seals. Even here, in my car on a desolate Minnesota highway, 3,000 miles away from the fracas of downtown Los Angeles, noise permeated my world.