My graduate degree is in poetry which is a funny sort of classically romantic and daring degree for someone who, really, could not be described as either romantic or daring (though, perhaps I'd admit to classic-leaning). Nevertheless, I do love it. I love the bare-bones basics of it, the you-have-to-know-this-right-now-and-the-only-way-to-tell-you-is-like-this nature of it. It's essential storytelling, and though one might not always decipher the why and how of the language, the punch is always there, the intention.
All of that is true.
It's also a disclaimer for today's Satya (and countless others, no doubt). Because sometimes something is true, and I have no idea why or even what it means.
I know that this extreme northeast corner of the country is my geography; I've always known that, no matter where I've lived, no matter how much I've loved the land of the various landscapes that so kindly housed me. That's one thing--that's an objective, to-the-bones-and-blood longing for the salt and stone, trees and earth of one's small piece of the globe.
But one of the hardest longings to identify, to solve, is homesickness--is it for a home you're not currently in (i.e., geography)? Or is it for a life you want to be living but aren't--not because of financial/circumstantial/etc reasons, but because you're playing some part you weren't designed to play?
In other words, whose life are you leading? Is it yours? Your parents'? Your spouse's? Whose expectations are these? Are you living your job? In other words, living within your "label" because this is the kind of car/house/sofa a teacher/banker/full-time parent is supposed to own?
We live in this beautiful loop, this infinity symbol of a life. We cross each other's paths, veer away, only to come back at some point in the journey.
Whether we recognize our past on the road is another matter. We're so often looking down or looking up or (worse), stuck on the side of the road clutching a weathered, out-dated signpost, refusing to move on.
Perhaps think of it this way: instead of a one-way ticket in this life (which is what gets us so fizzy and flustered in the first place), think of it as an open-ended, round-trip ticket. No timelines, no train tables, no arrival or departure times, and no worries about delays or bad weather. There is always movement forward and always, eventually, a return trip home.
What you leave, you never leave for long; it's just up to you what you pick up on the way back.
Chances are, you (or the scenery) has changed so much that the that familiarity becomes unrecognizable.
It's okay to sleep; we heal when we sleep. But it's that semi-conscious drifting that, when prolonged, lands in a nest of weeds or some strange harbor. We have no idea how we got here, but we are suddenly, painfully aware that we're cold, wet, and terribly lost.
Don't confuse lost with loss. It's not. You didn't lose time. You were mending, maybe. You were restoring. But, you're awake, so notice that. Do a full 360, eyes wide open. Then close your eyes and catch the scent of the wind. What calls you?
Elizabeth Gilbert once said that when you're lost, when you've no idea how to get back into the stream of your life, simply follow your curiosity. Sounds right to me.
So. Open your eyes, and become very still. Let your curiosity become your compass.