“Welcome back to the continent.” And then he immediately took me upstairs at the airport and ordered me an Illy coffee. It seems Luigi knows my weaknesses enough to realize one way to soothe me is with my favorite coffee as part of the homecoming. That and a drive up in the hills for a meal and a view. To steal his phrase, it was “beyond expectation” and very much appreciated.
Still, coming back this time seems tinged with sadness. It’s not that I’m not happy to be here and in this life again, but having so much love stretched across the Southeastern section of the United States makes for a hard parting. Having my parents close and chatting in the same room as me, being able to visit friends by hopping in a car, knowing your brother is coming for dinner, and being woken by insistent hungry kitties are just a few of the joys of being there and the pains of living here.
And being here, well, I write about it all the time, so you have an idea of why I love it. I’ll add to that being embraced by a man I love and who loves me, challenges me and makes me laugh — well, that is a large part of here.
Maybe that is where the sadness comes from. The awareness of impossibility. I can not be there and be here. If I could, you know I would. Rather than let it go though, I try to recreate. And I brought over some light-weight and entirely packable things to help— small props of my emotional landscape. First, the background of my babymac is now a picture of the kitties that I took with Shelby’s camera. So every morning I can still see them. Second, I stole 2 of my dad’s cookies from Lori’s bag o’ cookies. I am allowing my self a crumb or two a day until there are no more. I bought 2 magazines and 1 newspaper to read, a box of note cards to write on, several recipes. On my bed stand there is the stuffed bunny that is similar to Lori and Shelby’s that we all bought together. My mother’s scarf is draped in my room and there is fresh Zoë art for the fridge. Life is reflected in details, and I believe happiness is as well.
And of course there are memories. So before mine dissipate into nothingness, I’m going to journal my homecoming adventures and tales. After all, ink binds us. Expect more posts, because it helps writing to everyone in this way and my intimates should anticipate more cards and mailed goofiness. (That is the closest I come to a resolution.)
The biggest prop of all is finding new ones. So I’m here, gathering my “here” happiness, slowly unfolding outside of my skin again. It can be chilly, but like all good reptiles, I seek out and collect the warmth.
All of this keeps me from drifting away from my being (you the people, sounds, place, food — you know, being). My true self. And my true self is becoming more and more a person of there and here. Rather than allow for a tear in me, I’ll try to thread the elements together, create something new, remain humbled by impossibility, and strive for definition.