Thursday, May 12, 2005

up close/the real/fantasy/beauty/habitation

The problem, I have discovered from various episodes of yearning to live in a place that seemed (and was) profoundly beautiful and magical when I passed through it and couldn't stay, is that once you live there, and it becomes your real life, then suddenly it isn't a place to retreat to to get away from your crappy life, it becomes the setting for your crappy life. Not that life is crappy per se, but wherever you move and set out your shingle, your own interior bends and warps, your bad habits, mental and otherwise, shift with you, and then suddenly they're planted in what was the landscape of your dreams, your hopes, your "Away" becomes your "here and now" and it can be shattering. I have never learned how to drink the milk of a place, once I lived in it. Arriving and leaving bring out the sweetness and clarity of perception--the poetry inherent in any place, and I feel very tender and aware. But living, living, dulls the shine, and the fault, I know, lies with me.

It is a flaw or condition that I fear, or am wary of, because I'm doing it again, I'm moving to a beautiful place that I simply love, or have passed through and loved, and I don't know how long I'll stay but I don't want to dull it, I don't want to make it into another little prison. Will this awareness help? Can we learn to love, to inhabit, to change and to live without sinking into a sump?

This condition applies to relationships with people, as well, but for me not as radically. I still don't know how to belong. I keep moving to try to find it out. So far, I haven't.

I seem to only be able to take most things in sips, skimming the cream and imagining everything else. I can construct, (like certain monstrous detectives) or deduct, an entire existence from a glimpse. But only if that existence is imaginary. Constructing a real existence, in every moment, is a task that I fail at, over and over. I can live an entire life in a matter of seconds, in my head, and feel breathtakingly alive, aware, connected ecstatically, and feel that I have penetrated the very essence of a place, a person, an idea, and then I move on. This is fun,and useful in creating fictions, interpreting or unpacking metaphors, but it's a magic carpet that never touches down. And it seduces and fails me every time I do try to touch down. I have had glimpses of a way to live daily--at the monastery, for example, but even these glimpses, I don't trust, because they are just that--glimpses, and probably just the cream-skimming in another form. Details, I love them. But the grain-by-grain building of a life, how? Once you settle the question of where, how? Of course, if you settle the question of how, where doesn't matter, although each dictates, to some extent, the other.

I do believe that you can change your life by changing your environment. But I also believe you can't change your life by doing that--I've had enough, plenty, too many instances of that.

But this move feels right. Not quite as surrounded by fantasy and illusion. I haven't had time to create a fantasy existence, and I am fighting that urge. I am just going to Go and See. Go and See, and Work, and stay calm, and see...


I love Big Sur. Maybe it will love me. Maybe we can find a way to live together, and even though there will be no more "away", perhaps the "here" will reveal itself, if I stay calm, if I don't shut down, if I am brave.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sandra said...

I'm just reading my old diaries and this post could have have been written by me - 100%. Of course my vocabulary and grammar is worse.

BUT I can SO relate to your feelings and thoughts. I felt like this almost all of my life, I felt like a always lived in my own reality. Which was great most of the time, but then it often left me feeling empty. I always kinda waited for my life to begin. I always thought, ok, this move, this change will finally make it begin. Whatever "it" is. But it didn't begin.

I only started loving my environment, my whole life when I met Jonnie. I've been in relationships before, but they were something completely different. They didn't change me and my outlook on life. But the relationship with Jonnie did.

I'm not saying that one needs a (new) relationship to feel whole again, but something new that oftentimes happens by chance can totally kick you off that magic carpet.

Oh well, I'm rambling. I just looked at pictures of Big Sur, it sure looks beautiful. I hope you'll have a great time there!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous AmyJo said...

Thanks, Sandra.
Change is real. Sometimes all it takes is meeting the right person, or finding the right spot. I am so happy you met Jonnie!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Boz said...

It's all about the yin and the yang.

11:12 PM  

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