Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Year of Changes

It is amazing how I can just stop blogging. Log off one night, no intention of being gone, and then, zap ! eight months gone. Eight. Reader(s), I apologize. I don't know what got into me. Nothing is wrong or was wrong, though, I admit, as summer approached and my joy and relief at having finally secured a position in a place the likes of Greenhouse City took hold, I began, for the first time in about four or five years, to be able to rest, really rest, and to let my tension-filled body finally sink into bed, onto couch, in chair in the sun, the fatigue leaching out in a slow ebb that left me realizing how much, emotionally and intellectually, I'd kept a bay from myself during non-Greenhouse City years. The end of exile, sort of, but in a new place. Of course, post-exile, there is a lot to do. My new circumstances have been a return of the deepest magnitude, and (but ?) I began to realize that I felt, if not out of practice, unpracticed: having arrived, after the initial set-up and transition, there was a deeper kind of setting up to do, a re-establishing of myself in that world, and ---what I think I had not anticipated, at least in terms of its depth--- a re-establishing of myself in me: I have found myself returning to both projects unfinished and desires left unfulfilled; I've travelled more than I have in a good four years, professionally or personally, and the professional travel and projects that went with it at first left me feeling shakier than I'd like even to admit to myself self. Nostalgia rewritten: nostos means return; algia, pain/longing, so "nostalgia" is normally, of course, a longing to return; I have had a case of the pain of return (there does not seem to be a word for that, though I am mindful that the nostoi of the ancient Greeks, of which we really only have the Odyssey in its fullness, are very much about both, the heroes battling their way toward a home, they and it forever changed). On the first few trips out, my knees were weaker than I would have thought, even to myself. But all went well, even better than well.
I have come "home," to realize, what I thought I already knew: I am older, I am behind in terms of the things I would have liked to have accomplished by now: perhaps it is only middle age setting in in earnest, one of those factors I did keep at bay, either simply through my attitude toward life (my older relatives tend to be surprised that they are as old as they are and just keep going: I am much the same), or because I could not bear that time was passing and I was no longer in the world in the way I wanted to be. Even now, I tend not to think about it (Greenhouse City is, happily and remarkably, full of "returnees" and refugees of all sorts), until I meet friends from old or talk with colleagues during these aforementioned travels, who talk about their careers having peaked or retiring at sixty (the latter seems impossibly young to me to do that), and I think, or rethink: is life really that far along ? Is life really that close to.... what ? A limited number of choices ? I tend to reject that out of hand. I wonder, if my life had been the sort where I stayed in one place for quite some time, if I would have evolved into the kind of person who has, what I call for lack of a better understanding of it, a life plan, and one that cooked along accordingly, at that. I am at the point where peers talk about x number more of projects, then that's it, they'll stop, career done, move on. And I wonder how they view me: am I the flexible one, or the one without a plan in a way that is daunting to them, off-putting ? Perhaps, I also think, during exile years, I stopped making certain kinds of plans, so strong was my sense of disappointment and despair, so estranged my exile from the world that was my home.
Whatever the case, here I am: returned, now toughened back up a bit, back. And now, having arrived ---how did I know this would be the case ? because when life was good before, this is often what happened--- and now life is good again, so: other things have opened up, and these are the sorts of things that would entail tremendous life changes on my part. I greet these with enthusiasm on the one hand and, upon reflection, pause on the other, wondering if, deep down, this option, to which I am powerfully and emotionally drawn, is opening up a fuller existence, or might foreclose upon the very things, rooted and dormant in me for so long, that are now just again flowering in the light of this new day and place, so long sought and so hard won ?
In short, and, in keeping with the tenor of this blog, I apologize for its obliqueness when it comes to specifics, I am (and how can I be ?) so happy and so uncertain suddenly and all at once. I am, though, once again back to this blog. I thought about it often, but the energy it took to restart and reintegrate left me no extra time for more writing, and I have missed it. So hello again, out there, whoever has come and stopped by.


Willo said...

I am so glad you are back! Isn't it wonderful the way the world works? Just a couple of days ago I said to myself, "Where is Cordelia?"

John B. said...

I too am glad to see you back (though I'm just now reading this post. Welcome back, and best wishes for the new year--and thanks for leaving a note on my blog, too.

Trappey's black-eyed peas indeed do rule.