Absence is a common, if painful, theme in human affairs, and when my younger son left Boston to make his way in Seattle, I had a category for his travels. He would be like the Phoenician sailors who plied the Mediterranean, trading cedar and linen for gold. Or the New England whaling captains off for years at a time to the far Pacific. He’d be gone, I’d be home, but I could take some comfort in the technology we’d use to ease the ancient burden of separation.
That strategy worked until it didn’t.
On August 28, Matthew flew to San Francisco to meet a friend and drive to the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. His last email read: “Will be out of cell and internet range for awhile. Will call on the far end. Love M.” Two days into his trip, beyond the reach of email and text…
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