Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Soul Wrestling in Suburbia

I love to live, to journey and learn, to broaden who I am and what I want to give to the world.
  In March I moved because of love.  When I got to Illinois, I got lost in a suburban landscape where I am older than all the buildings and the trees are only big in the established neighborhoods.  I felt empty, useless.  So I put one foot in front of the other and set out to find "myself".
It was going ok.  I read gardening books but I had no land to implement technique on.  I dreamt of recipes using the bounty of farms I could not find.  I told myself I was writing a book for my nieces, but I was really just making a collage for them.  And then I travelled to my family, my green mountain roots, my friends who feed me, and have bathed with me in the waters of home.
  It was full on lilac season in New England.  I was there for two weeks.  Two weeks of being Auntie Cat.   Two weeks of walking with my feet bare on the dirt road I grew up on.  Two weeks of my mother and crosswords.  Two weeks of being next door to my childhood best friend.  Two weeks of my love, 887 miles away in the burbs with my two cats and my absence rattling in our apartment.  
I drove back to my life, exhausted, with my father in the car.   We drove through thunderstorms and Cleveland.  I slept in the parking lots of abandoned restaurants and ate salads from the shelves of rest area convenience stores.
I unpacked plant clippings and artwork from my travels around the globe.  My lover watched as more of my life spilled into hers.  We kissed quietly in our bedroom as my father sat reading in the living room.  We cooked food together and rejoiced when he got on the train. We went on a date, 1500 feet in the air.  The wine was delicious.
Then life settled back in.  The plant clippings got potted, the artwork went up on the wall, and once again I was lost in a suburban landscape where I am older than all the buildings.  But a small little miracle was embedded in my heart, in my soul.  While in Vermont, over local feta and a bottle of wine in the whisper of past the kids bed time, one of my dearest friends gave me the name; Rebecca Solnit.  As I read Solnits' essay today I realized so much of who I am.  A breakthrough of sorts.  It has been incubating and rooting and now I feel as though it is poking through the soil of my mind, like the first green curl of spring through the dirt of March snow.  I know what it is I am here for.  I know why Illinois has me caught in a concrete jungle.  As she references one of my favorite minds, Michel Foucoult, I know what it is that I must do, and I know why I must do it.  I do not know what my do will do... But our future needs us.
And so the journey of me continues with serendipity, grace and frustration, sunsets through tears and the knowledge that if I do not know, those that I love do.  They will share their do and they will not know what it does.  

1 comment:

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