|Anna E. Blunden (British, 1830-1915), Dawn in an Ancient Land, 1871, watercolor, T|
It is time to move on. I think....
I'm looking at Kansas because I have family there: will the tender, newly-forged bonds of affection between us hold fast in the coming storm? Will regular, frequent exposure to each other reveal fatal flaws? Am I brave enough and true enough and strong enough to face the Family, the Final Frontier?
Here's a poem by Mary Oliver I found recently:
A Pretty Song
From the complications of loving you
I think there is no end or return.
No answer, no coming out of it.
Which is the only way to love, isn't it?
This isn't a playground, this is
earth, our heaven, for a while.
Therefore I have given precedence
to all my sudden, sullen, dark moods
that hold you in the center of my world.
And I say to my body: grow thinner still.
And I say to my fingers, type me a pretty song.
And I say to my heart: rave on.
By contrast, the tone of this personal blog post by Michelle R. Smith reads like something my fantasy Self might write: confident and strong and uncompromising and unapologetic. She is certain of what she thinks. A certainty that offers muscular critique and persuasion away from whatever the reader believed previous to reading it. There's some truth in the post, some points I agree with; but it isn't really my voice. Not really my attitude. I'm softer than that. Less certain.
And I still believe in the power of Love in a way that Ms. Smith obviously does not. As scared as I am, I still believe in the power of Love.
I'm also looking at relocating to Springfield, Massachusetts where I have a friend who called me "family" the other night on the phone. I'm considering it because it's in the direction of Portugal which is, except for the serious extenuating consideration of my grandchildren residing in Kansas, my consistent reply when I face the mirror and ask myself "If money were no issue and you could go anywhere at all, where would you go?"
I don't know anyone in Portugal and have only one friend in Springfield, Mass. Portugal looks like a beautiful place and my friend is Massachusetts is reliable and generous
but wouldn't it be awful to find myself brokenhearted and regretting my decision in either of those places? I don't know my friend in Massachusetts very well; I speak Brazilian Portuguese haltingly and Portuguese Portuguese not at all. Either of those two contingencies could prove disastrous.
I have imagined myself in Portugal, gazing across the Atlantic ocean towards Kansas, where the only real love I've ever felt resides, sick or desperate to get home but unable to afford the fare. At least in Massachusetts, Love would be not as far away.
There's a full length mirror on the door of the shower stall. I step out of the shower and look at my body as I dry off. I look into my eyes. What!? I ask.
What are you doing? What do you want? I ask myself gently.
I want to find my place and my people before I die.
It's the same answer as always.
I want to be somewhere, among people, that feels as right as New Orleans felt to me. Minus the destitution. Am I asking too much? Is Kansas my place and my people? There's Love in Kansas. I am sure of that. Is Love enough?