wanderlust (the grass is green everywhere)

even here.

it’s not easy living with me, I know. I’m the moodiest of critters, too often curled mollusk-like into my own shell, betimes bemoaning this or that or the whole kit n caboodle of my lot, tending to place blame for dissatisfactions wholesale on geography. poor chicago, it’s not to blame for my malaise, ultimately. but I can sure make it sound like it. to live with me is to attend an ongoing litany of plaint (hi, een) and confected concoctions of how fabulous it would be to move elsewhere in one direction or another– now closer to my family, now nearer friends, then away overseas, or what about just striking out behind the wheel across this great nation, no agenda, cameras and gazetteers in hand?

the noodling, you see, unto perpetuity– and I, for the most part, swept up inside its momentum, remain largely unaware of the impact of narratives I create, compulsively, in words thrown out across the airwaves of a room– until confronted by my partner’s, or on one or two memorable occasions my friends’, sheer sense of cognitive dissonance– you say again and again how you’re unhappy with this, how you’d just be happier with that…

the bittersweet truth is: the that is the forever elusive horizon, and this state of affairs is as it’s ever been. spinning dreams out this way and that is what I do. and it may from certain angles seem to contain only downside: continuous complaint, who wants it? so tedious– but underlying it nonetheless is the present, also cherished, if less volubly, and, at least in merciful retrospect, woven through with a thousand graces. the dilemma has in part to do with what folks have taken to calling “mindfulness”– that is, not having enough of it, not practicing it sufficiently to be… what? evolved? at peace with myself in the present?

peace in the present. peace amid motion and thrash of ongoing life. such a buddhist concept. I manage it ill. I am utterly western in my own thrash and whingeing. let us say I could be better: well, I will try. it’s foolish to leave a thing at that’s just how I am. cop out. but also I’d like to be kind of okay with, and see the value in, my own particular, flailing mish-mash. castles in the air can serve as seeds, take root given a fortuitous season, and climb and grow into something vivid, rooted, and real– or they can fly away over the water, so much dust into the view. only time sorts it all out.

so, at the same time that I discourse and fantasize about the multitudinous romances of Elsewhere, now I shop for a home to buy in chicago, a little piece of real estate in order to dig in, plant my garden, take root and claim this city as my own.

0 Replies to “wanderlust (the grass is green everywhere)”

  1. I had a therapist who called it "the geographic cure." I eventually saw the sense in that and stopped musing about how it would be better somewhere else and started wondering if it could be better here, wherever that happened to be.I've stopped proclaiming to anyone who will listen how I dislike Atlanta. For one thing, after almost 18 years here, the longest I've lived anywhere, I realize now the obvious question coming first to anyone's mind should be, "Well, then, why are you still here?" For another, and perhaps more importantly, I've finally come to admit there are good things about being here, just as there are admittedly bad things about the actual manifestations of the mythic New England locales I fantasize about. I realize, too, I tend to mourn the loss of frequent drop-in visitors while living on a land trust in New Hampshire, yet choose not to remember really how complicated living in community was and how lonely I felt then.

  2. Wherever you go, there you are!I have a friend who has lived in Chicago twice, but he keeps returning to the Pacific NW because when one is depressed, at least there are mountains and forests and greenery everywhere you look, year-round. Yes, that's right, I'm claiming that it is objectively better here. Just kidding.:-)

  3. What happens with complete contentment? Some say it's as much to be feared as your angry, prowling discontent.
    I don't believe that a city, country, etc. can be hated completely. I've been to Chicago only once, loved it, but realize that it would be quite a different beast if I lived there.
    I believe that if you just talk – to complain, to rant, to argue, to examine, to discuss – some ideas and thoughts will stay with you, build with you, strengthen you.
    So keep on posting these wonderful thought processes of yours.

  4. Some call it wanderlust. I bought an RV for just such occaisions. Perhaps you should get an telecommute type job and hit the open road and follow your dreams afield.

  5. I like your comment about contentment, Aubrey. It's similar to the idea that one cannot comprehend happiness without also experiencing sadness.I also like your idea about places not being all bad or all good. It makes sense, too, that a place one might have dismissed in one's youth could be a different sort of place after some number of years…or for many other reasons.Good insight.

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