Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homesickness Cured


Every ship I set sail for North came right straight back to me yesterday–decidedly headed South. Classes won't be available until November (I was aiming for September). Katy arrived with a car full of my art from her gallery (she had to close it).  Everything just screeched to a halt in the form of a forced hiatus from the academics (sensibly so, I suppose) and a closed door. Literally! So, now I get to consider what taking a break would be like. Perspectives shift and change. I start to feel really good about it. Yes. I want this. I want a couple months off. Yet, my sadness for Katy's lack of success perplexes me. Saint Andrews is suffering from a decline in tourism. I guess most people are not buying art or anything else right now. I have to say, as frustrating as this is in a commercial sense, it is not such a bad thing. I was afraid it would become the new "in" place to be for the overly wealthy and famous, but in the end, I think it will remain a beautiful seaside town with its faithful few. Few is a relative term...

  So. Anyway.

News that changes your direction is rather depleting and terrifying at first. I never know for sure where my work will end up. I am never sure about that, to be honest. What I am sure of, however, is that when sometimes my artwork does come back to me, especially after I have said a fair-well or two already, I am always totally delighted to see it again. It is like my fairy children in the garden of my thoughts. I adore these unfathomable creatures. Come, nestle under my watchful eye a bit longer yet. Simmer on the back-burner of my mind. I tell myself this as I wrestle with something awfully close to disappointment. Close, but more like peaceful resignation. It was only a leap of faith. Above all, Katy is a painter. Katy is a beautiful painter. She will continue her journey as such and so will I. Let it be.

Identity is a strange thing. I really feel like we spend most of our adult lives trying to reconcile ourselves to our teen years, our years of mistakes, highs, lows, promises, failures. I have had my fair share of that kind of nostalgia. Enough to do me, for sure. My curiosities have moved into the deeper past. I have been keenly interested in the places where I used to play when I was small. I remember abandoned graveyards that were ancient even when I was a child (over thirty years ago now). I remember streams with barely enough water to swim in. All slick with brown slime. How we played and played and played in those waters. But, I see that time has moved on. Houses have burnt down. Grasses and wildflowers have sprouted up. Graveyards are gone to ground. Trees have devoured all. Yet, here we are. Somewhere in the middle. Right on the border between all that makes me who I am. In a purple house, no less. On Main Street, no less. I definitely feel a sense of a before and after which must have something to do with moving away from my childhood haunts. It only makes sense. I grew myself up from the roots, quite literally. I played in the forest. I ate wild berries for lunch. I wandered through field after field. I still remember feeling a little bit wild in my soul. Freedom, for me, was a heady thing. It always came at such a price. Freedom meant hunger meant scraped ankles meant strange bugs meant frog's eggs meant fear meant joy. It meant pain. Pain for pleasure. Pleasure for pain. Then... we moved away. It all came to a strange end when we moved across and down the river like little nomads.

All this is to say for most of my adult life it seemed like I was so far away from anything I knew of myself as a child, I thought there could never be any sort of reconciliation between the past and present. My sense of departure, though the actual distance was very small, seemed like a practical lobotomy to me. A complete separation from the things that made me tick. Therefore, I never thought I would like living here, so close to where I grew up. I never dreamed my life would go this way (how pathetic my imagination is sometimes). I tried many times to convince my family I should be anywhere but here. But, to my surprise, I actually do like it here. I feel at home here.

 I eat my words.

Sometimes, maybe even all the time, it is best to let life show you what you desire, isn't it? We have our ideas and plans, but when they fall through, then what? Do we die? No. That's ridiculous. We just move on. I feel I must revisit the past, but I have learned to never linger there for very long. If you do, you may die. Quite possibly, you may die. It is possible to lose ourselves to these moments of reflection. It casts some strange spell on us all...

We seek the imprints to fill the form of our souls.
We seek the things that are no longer tangible.
We seek the things that will live on in our soul when we die.
Everything is brimming with irony.

Everything is always so mysterious. My eternal homesickness is cured.


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