Monday, September 19, 2016

Month One

What may be most indicative of life as I blog (or don't), are the silences.  Here it has been 21 days since I last wrote and nearly a month since we climbed aboard American Air and flew here to live.

We lived the hotel life.
We glamped for a week in an empty house full of neighbors' blankets and aerobeds.
We were surprised by how good it was to be within the walls of our own house, even with cricked necks and only four plastic spoons we kept washing, and even still, when we laid first day of school outfits on the bare floors.  I don't think I would have been so ready for the truck or the work of settling without that bare week.  And I was ready.

But the work!  Settling, unpacking, organizing, building (Ben has ben building), and still, things are only almost-there.  There are several piles that I cannot make budge; there's just no place to put the cords, the old tape recorder, the library book from the DC library that's overdue, the magnets (no magnetic surfaces) or all the printed photographs.

I half wonder why on earth we own things.  There's something beyond wise (and that also makes me feel homesick...) in the ancient bedouin lifestyle.
We are so encumbered by the junk we lug with us and insist on keeping and carrying.
And yet, each of the things is imbued with meaning, memory, or beauty and we like nesting with them.  But really...

It took me two weeks of being here before I woke up teary and missing family.
It took 18 days before I opened my journal and forced myself to name "feeling words."

It's strange, like so many periods of life are, to be brimming with such internal dichotomy: on the one hand *happiness* to be back here in this sunny, salt-smelling beauty, with friends we love in a life we'd firmly said goodbye to and suddenly have back (also quite unreal).  On the other hand, we are far from home, cousins, and all the expectations our year held.

I'm wondering how to be true to feeling both full and gutted at the same time -- is it a choice, which we focus on?  Is it denial to charge past the sadness?  Is it wallowing to breathe it in?  The other night, my friend Danny reminded me there has to be room for it all -- to allow whatever the moment holds.  Apparently this is hard for me beyond the concept.

September has begun and here in the middle, all the kids sniffling and sneezing with fresh colds.  Maeve's had a fever -- again -- for days, and I, since the moment we left home, continue to teeter right on the brink of well, pounding vitamin C.   This steady care taking has added to the (gift of?) dullness that's glazed over all the feelings.

This morning, sick-ish Maeve and I have made a batch of mediocre gluten free chocolate chip cookies (yet another attempt to feed the deep and hungry in me that won't be sated with food), and now I've sent Maeve to watch Octonauts, so I can finish spray painting a doll bed for her birthday tomorrow and write here.  Between coats of pale pink paint (now all over my hands and the grass), I'm sitting here with the computer on my lap and a stack of papers from back to school night that all require either reflective thinking about a child or check writing, neither of which I feel like doing.

Maeve just started school, so soon -- soon! -- I will move into a bit of rhythm.  Until then -- on y va!

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