|Spring in Rhode Island|
|Middle Ring embracing at Brown.|
|'Spring' in windswept NYC|
As evidence of its magical power, here, in no particular order, are a few recent musings from both Middle Rings in my world.
- Coffee. I came back from Cali and it's all I crave. Best parts of this are fun encounters at my new favourite coffee shop (which has a tree inside!) and the lovely couple who own it (MIDDLE RING ALERT). For me, the UK's #1 tea fan, this is RADICAL.
|@AS220 print shop|
- Brits everywhere - we really do apologise too much. A new Argentinian friend told me that every time I want to say 'I'm sorry' I must instead say 'I'm happy'. I thought that was pretty neat. Sometimes the Middle Ring just tells it like it is.
- Being a Fulbrighter is like giving the Middle Ring a perma-hug - but what does being a Fulbrighter mean to me? I'd say many things, but will boil it down to two taken from that recent seminar - it means having only a two hour break during a full day and night of activities, but still finding a bunch of people who want to use that time to go running with you, and discovering that even if the club you end up at is fantastically awful, you will still have everyone embracing it 100% with not a hint of snobbery. Probably with some traditional dancing going on, even though what's playing is some dance music disaster. And obviously, assumed friendship.
- The world is full of incredibly kind people who shift inevitably between Inner and Middle Ring, and I'm just kind of mega blown away by that. I will never change being open to people and sharing worlds whenever I can, and hope I will continue to channel that in both my personal and professional lives, because the inner/middle continuum is a great one.
- I was nowhere near as embarrassed as I should have been when singing away to the radio at the top of my lungs whilst in the tissue culture room, thinking the lab was empty, when my boss peered round the door to say he's 'enjoying' my musical contribution. Not even a blush when the repair man came in as I bopped away to Gershwin. Perhaps lack of concern at Middle Ring embarrassment is a sign of comfort in life (as one should never feel embarrassed around the inner ring, and you shouldn't care what relative strangers in the outer ring think anyway!).
- I have instigated a new activity every time someone has a science success - it's called 'Learn a Ceilidh Dance'. With much arm twisting, I got two of my lab people to learn the Gay Gordons to celebrate a much-wished-for successful Western Blot, and have the promise of a dance with my current lab collaborator should our experiment work next week. Perhaps the Middle Ring lends itself particularly well to Cultural Exchange?
|@AS220 Youth piece|
|Pawtucket Cotton Mill|
So I guess the Middle Ring is one I embrace as much as I can given the international spread of my friends and family, and it's been pretty damn good to me. Maybe the Middle Ring is more about just making an effort, being more ready to say hello, and keeping the door permanently open?