Monday, February 12, 2007

the art of leaving

it seems i've made departure an art. it's come naturally, honestly enough. for the better part of my life, i moved every two years (yes, since i was a small child this has been the norm). uprooting and transplanting has come to me in all manner of ways. sometimes peacefully, sometimes i loaded up the car and drove off unseen, other times there was a bit of planning. a few goodbyes.

the thing about it is, there is so much to see. so many great adventures out there to be had. i take the leaving as a good thing (after i rebound from losing all my friends and comforts, which takes a good six months), new territory to explore.

being transplanted has changed my life so profoundly so many times, i can hardly believe it when i meet a person who was born and will die in the same house. boggles my mind. i had once thought it an enviable position, but now, i'm not so sure.

there's a line in horse whisperer where the matriarch of the family says,
some people carry roots on the inside.

yeah, that's what i hope. that i'm a bulb who can be taken and transplanted myriad times. always springing up, lush and green wherever i happen to be planted. forced. enjoyed.

it's a heavy word on my heart right now, because leaving comes to me so easily. it seems like the right thing so many times. do i opt for it too easily? or do i just trust my road to lead me beyond the comfortable surroundings? i'm not really sure. i just know these roads stretch on to the horizon and i've not hit a dead end yet.

when i think i really know something, have some certainties. we move. all my wisdom leveled by some cardboard and packing tape. and a few thousand miles (as was the last case). the bare walls, unknown neighbors, foreign streets all conspire to teach me about starting fresh. stepping out and trusting strangers.

i thought i knew something before i moved here, and now i find, i knew nothing. the people i once thought the bomb, were a different kind of bomb in my life. or i bombed out, something like that. and now i'm moving in utterly different circles and the ages, races, orientations of these folks are shaking longheld (yet often unknown) beliefs about what and how things should be. moving will do that to you.

it takes awhile for me to settle in. to get to know a place. the other night driving lovely 83 years young helen to an inter parish council meeting (IPC), we passed the church and she said,
where are you going?


down here,
i said. having no clue where i was headed, i went over a bridge and turned on a one way street which lined some stream. it was pitch black, the tall pines jutting skyward, and the waters glistening in the moonlight.

how lost can we get,
i asked.

i don't know.
she said.

just enjoy the ride, this is my life in new york. i'm always getting lost.
and we laughed and laughed. i wound my way back across the stream and to the church. laughing all the way. it was a lovely ride. a whole new approach to getting lost. i'm losing my fear of these wooded areas. they don't seem so mysterious to me now.

though helen gave me directions back to the PIP (palisades interstate parkway) that had me so befuddled and confused, i swear i could never find that way again without her. but we laughed some more and made our way back home.

two church members i knew have died since i've been here. it is an aged congregation. but the people are so lovely. i wouldn't want to be anywhere else. and kneeling around the altar, i look across at the dear souls there and thank God for them. that i've had the chance to meet them. even the ones who are control freaks. or who reek of nicotine. or who don't know how to exchange the peace without creeping me out.

i'll be leaving here in the near future. and while i will be sad to go, i will be looking forward to the next adventure. who will i meet? where will i go? so many things yet unseen. so many possibilities. endless possibilities.

3 comments:

Miss Audrey said...

I think I could fairly say that the art of moving goes hand in hand with the art of accepting change. Change and absolutes.

I've been learning some pretty hard lessons myself about change and letting go.

Time after time this past year I have lost one client after another and most haven't moved, but have moved on.

Except for most of them aren't some abstract person to me anymore. I make friends with them. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The stinking drunks and yeah, the control freaks. The backbiter and the sassy old lady that met me at the door my first visit and even though she only weighed about eighty pounds scared the begeebers right out of me with her poor disposition and lack of charm. I grew to love that little old lady dearly.

Then there was the one that at first completely refused my services. She sent me away my first trip to her home. I held her hand on her death bed and she told me I was her best friend.

And my stinking drunk - I didn't mean any disrespect. He did smell a bit and drink a bit more. And Lord knows how many times I wondered if he was going to blow me up while smoking in the same place as he had his oxygen going...

I'm on your space and rambling. I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes some of the life lessons that come our ways are too precious to hold too tightly. Capture them in your heart Suz, and in your imagination and take them with you where ever you may rome.

relevantgirl said...

Hey Sooz,

Where are you going, my friend? Or should I say, where are you flying?

siouxsiepoet said...

thanks audrey. very encouraging.

and mare, it looks to be texas at this point. we'll be neighbors (sort of) again. at least i can go see you speak again. and we can chat. there will be lots to chat about. september, i think. if not before.

peace goils,
suz.