I've been calling this year "the transitional year." But, recently, I've been hearing myself say the same thing about next year, too. After selling my place and moving to town last October, I felt rootless. And, to be honest, it was an uncomfortable feeling. In December I dedicated an entire art show to the sense of loss I was experiencing. Strangely, the last pieces I painted were not of the place I had left behind, but of the place I've arrived at.
It has been raining for two days straight. Anu's been holed up in her dog house and so this morning I took her for an extra long walk. It was cold, windy, and wet, but after the first couple blocks both of us just sorta gave into it. After a while, it started to feel good. Then we found ourselves not wanting to go back home, like we could walk forever.
Since moving to town I've done a lot more walking than I ever did living out in the country. Because Anu is half wolf, half husky (and had never before been tied up, fenced in, and very rarely kenneled), I pay for my guilt in moving her to the middle of town with long daily walks. And in the process I've become friends with this place in ways I never expected.
I live here because when I returned from India I got sick and was bed-ridden for 2 months. Even after that, it was a long recovery. I grew up in this smallish town with a population of 10,000 and when I left, I never thought I'd come back. My return was all an accident--I never planned on staying. But somewhere along the lines I came to realize how much I love it here. Now it's 9 years later and I'm still here and, every day, I grow more conscious of the sadness I feel in the fact that I'll soon be leaving. This sadness surprises me. I thought the hard part was in leaving my old place. But leaving is starting to feel like peeling back layers of an onion--there are numerous layers of separation.
I wish words were enough to give you a little piece of this place. I wish they were enough so that you could experience it the way I do. But they're not. I don't know how to turn words into weather or wolves or water. I don't know how to smith these syllables into footsteps that fall on this dark soil that I've come to know and, in so many ways, hate to leave.
I wish words were enough so that I could carry this place around with me forever--in a little book, or my pocket. That way, I'd never have to leave it behind. I suppose I could carry this place in my heart, but lately it already feels much, much too heavy.
I look forward to moving on. I just never expected it to be this hard.