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dishes, floor, laundry...
boxes open ask me in.
what goes? what stays?
I make choices for a future that I finally can't pretend to understand.
I say I don't know where I'm going, and I feel the comfortable warmth of predictability from my convincing embrace of uncertainty. I *know* that I don't know - and I dodge some of the discomfort in that faux knowing.
But there is a legitimate security in the acceptance of uncertainty that I feel, and I take refuge there.
It's an unexpected place that I find myself in. I'm in my mid-forties. No husband. No mate. No children. No home to care for. A business and career that I'm bringing to an end. A community that I'm ready to leave.
I've spent a lot of nights in angst over this tremendous failure by an American woman to reach any pinnacle of recognizable achievement, in even the most mundane of worlds. But then again, because of so few ties/supports, I get to spend the nights in angst, and then wake up in the morning, and it's a new day, and the feeling passes, and I go on.
It's been interesting to discern just how much of my attitude is some kind of passing subtle physiology - some alchemy of stars, ideas, oxygen and dinner - and that has certainly helped how I process conclusions I come to in my more deeply feeling states.
What an interesting process. To me, anyhow.
So I look around the room at the open boxes and the things that will fill them. What goes?
The choices are coming clear. I'm praying the change like the shaman prays rain. Heirlooms, the remnant library, a bare-bones kitchen, some wardrobe and a few tools go to the storage area, packed for shipping. The rest is history - literally.
My primary thought/plan has been to sell the store and then go spend a few months in Europe - maybe longer. I spent some time in Varanasi some years ago and know of a great lodging spot right on the Ganges where I felt very inspired. One of my friends is a Sanskrit scholar there, and I've been thinking about whether or not I'd like to study some Vedic music for awhile. The University is just a short bike ride from the lodging and friends make such a stay enjoyable and possible. I also like India a lot.
Actually, I've liked everywhere I've been abroad (except for the part of Germany where my mother lives half the year - Dortmund), though I've not seen very much. I've been to Italy, a bit of Paris, and Nepal and India. I like the toilets in India. Isn't that odd? But they're just so practical, and the nice ones are, well, nice!
Another friend told me of a wonderful monastery in Isernia, Italy whose nuns (from Berkeley and Washington - my kind of ladies!) study bookbinding and gregorian chant. They offer rooms for folk like me to come and study the music and participate in the monastic life - no vows or anything like that, just a lot of soul and singing. I've contemplated a month or so there to clear out the cobwebs.
I know that leaving all the life I've had here is going to be a pretty significant stone in my pool. I don't have the energy, desire nor intent to manage the ripples. But I do want to feel them, and perhaps let them change me somewhat.
Whenever I've left the country, I've felt a freedom of self that is reminiscent of a Ketamineimpulse. It seems like a useful thing to do would be to put myself in an environment that facilitates the alteration of some of my more fundamental patterns. Not because I think I need anything to change, but simply because I have that happy confluence of freedoms that I describe above, and that I *can* change.
My singing is a great example. Five years ago I never thought I'd see a stage or a microphone again. I thought I'd left that behind in Southern California, years ago. I started singing again - just to touch it, just because I could - and it's been growing quietly ever since.
I did it because finally I could. I did it because it was different. I did it because I was tired of everyone assuming they knew who I was, and what I thought, and what I ought to do, just because of the business I ran.
I wanted to put on my gowns, and my make-up, and curl my hair, and walk on high-heeled shoes (which my high-arched feet are designed for) and just dump those assumptions about being vegetarian, and hairy, and anti-everything-debauched-and-fun right on their own pompous asses.
I have no desire for any kind of fame, although making a living as a club singer for awhile would be alright. Since my needs are embarrassingly modest, and my voice is average, and my tolerance for bullshit is about zero, this is probably all I both need and could expect.
I don't like large audiences. My favorite times are small rooms, with just a few people left, hanging on to each other and their last drink and the soulful refrain. That's not money, but it's about as rich a place as I could ever ask to Be.
But all this goes by way of saying that really deep change, at the sort of level opened when you're in a brand new country, feeling a whole new world, means an unfolding of potential and opportunity not even guessed at, or even desired, before.
I don't want to go after what I want. I want to go beyond what I want. I want to see what I'm deeply desiring that I don't have an inkling about yet.
That's what I want...
ok. Time to load this and then return to those precious boxes that, in holding my chosen next steps - my gig books, my cds and records, my keyboard, my amp, my gowns, my computer, my skeleton household paraphenalia - help me chart the future, one step at a time.
-- Anonymous, October 07, 2001