Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stages of Being at Home: Grief

To grieve is to reconcile a sense of loss, re-evaluating yourself in terms of now being without whatever it is you have outlived. But we do so selectively, and surely we have to in the face of all that we could grieve.

Each moment is lost time, lost opportunities or possibilities or potentialities. If one chooses to view it that way, each passing second is the removal of branching potential tracks that life could take, a narrowing of options, or perhaps a fatalistic focusing that approaches something like binding destiny.

But to see things as such is maddening.

So instead we grieve the near-concrete. When I was a child, I understood my great-grandmother's death as not the loss of her, per se (for I have memories! and photos! and heaven to look to!) but rather I understood it as the loss of being able to hug her, to feel her love for as long as I would choose to hold on. That was the threat of death.

While I was at home, I grieved and shared in my family's grief. It hurts to lose and there is a lot of loss we could hurt over. But mainly my family shared the time that is rushing past us, and we love as we choose to hold on.

Grief was just one part of the trip home, and grief is always a part of life going on.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Stages of Being at Home: Rest

Louisville is an amazing city, especially when you visit. There was no work, no commitments, and no deadlines save the flight out. Everything is familiar, comfortable, and pregnant with memories. The same books yet to be read, the same scholarly articles waiting to be filed, the same guitars to be rejoined with the others I brought to CO, all of this makes me feel like I haven't left this life completely behind.

As I travel more and see the sadly homogenized cityscapes (the same Wal-Marts, same fast food joints, same hotels becoming faux-familiarity-inducing landmarks), it is good to see my home not in stasis but rather following a known path.

Even though friends have grown and changed, they are there and we pick up exactly where we left off. I find myself shocked that their love has not waned, and we exult in time passed and time shared. It feels natural but precious still.

Old love letters, ridiculous photos, awards from school, presents and inside jokes, these all just wait there in my room in no hurry to be found. Friends, familiar trees and birdcalls, old bookstores and coffee shops, my family, they all have kept a spot reserved for me still.

And so I sink into them all, thrill to find that I still fit, and I rest.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Remember when I used to write on here? Me neither.

I am in the middle of creating and cultivating new habits to make my life more like I want it to be (thus the Bowie-referencing title, because who doesn't feel inspired to be a better man from listening to David Bowie?). And this is good.

So updates, then! For one: I am now gainfully employed by the city of Grand Junction as a 911 Dispatcher, and my training is going rather well. Also, I have moved into my own apartment and furnished it with such essentials as an 88-key keyboard and a percolator.

Also, I went home this past week to Louisville, KY and was reminded of how wonderful it is. Not quite home, but something quite like it. Its depth, its eccentricity, its history, its ongoing attempts at rebuilding and renovating, these qualities make my steps seem an echo to its heartbeat. Wishing for something more, always.

Returning to Colorado, I decided to take a trip and clear my head (but of course the opposite always results). I went to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and camped in a quickly sand-filled tent that was flattened against me throughout the night by the strong winds. It really was one of the more incredible places I've been in my life.

During my travels, I was with my family, saw old friends, and even made a couple new ones. I listened to some very moving sermons on the road, and see certain things in a new light. What more could one ask from a week and a half of traveling? (well, maybe a razor. I've kinda let that go)

Ha, I don't know if anyone would still bother to read this dumb blog, but if you do I hope I get the chance to catch up with you soon, at the very least over the phone. I think I'm gonna pick this thing back up, and see where it goes.

What an inauspicious return!