Well I’m back in the city. Like the gypsy nomad I predicted I’d be when my life began taking a lot of unexpected sharp right turns, it’s my third move in two years but one that brings me back near the people that mean the most to me. I’ve learned to pack economically and to not “unpack” like anyplace is home. Each place is like a destination where I learn something new about life and about myself and then move to the next schoolroom; to the next lesson. I heard somewhere that life was supposed to be exactly that: a journey. Only some of us can believe in places we call home.
When I look backward…to way back when, I don’t know if I ever had a firm idea of where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I think even as a youth I kinda knew it’d be hard to tether me to a post. I was always looking from one place I stood to the next place I’d stand. I don’t think I ever wanted to see one viewpoint outside one door, or watch the same sunset through the exact window too many days in a row. So even then I believe I had the wayfarer’s spirit: keep living – keep moving. Our story is sometimes written like postcards… I’m here for a little bit; isn’t this nice? Thinking about you.
Some would think it’s madness to live with such displacement. That type of madness, in my humble opinion, is what makes artists. Without that type of madness we’d be one less Starry Night by a Van Gogh. That type of madness gives us quiet introspection; the time to think and write and draw and capture the things the heart feels but lacks in description. The world would be less without it’s Starry Night – without the likes of us, crazy or not.
If I feel a loneliness it’s probably a longing for the prize I see others have that I still haven’t grasped. One evening, not a week having moved back to the city I passed a small café with it’s outdoor seating and a Jazz musician playing his saxophone that reminded me of the ambience I’d missed while living in the quiet embrace of the next states farmlands. I pulled my car to the side of the street and rolled down the window to listen. My eyes roamed over the patrons, several couples on dinner dates seated at the tiny twofer candlelit tables. I watched a young gay couple hold hands and drink their cocktails and smile at each other. I can only watch them and imagine what it is they’re experiencing. I’m certain the designs of their hopes have different horizons than mine. They’re most probably picturing that home together; the same view outside the door where they kiss each other goodbye in the morning and in greeting on the return in the evening. They’ll look forward to holding hands and gazing out their window at the sunset every day. They’ll probably sleep on sheets with a print of Starry Night on them and not even think of the wayfarer who stood in the field that lonely night with his paints and easel.
I am neither sad nor bitter by my constant state of transition. It’s taught me many valuable lessons about friends, the meaning of friendship… and that life’s troubles are temporary but the lessons invaluable. It teaches us to believe less in things like destiny and fate and more in ourselves… that we can handle whatever is thrown at us..,survive it…surmount it and endure.
It’s a beautiful night. I have my easel and my paints. Let’s see what I can do!