Thursday, October 22, 2015

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog


I've been up since 1:30, having fallen asleep at 6:30 yesterday after dinner. A 10+hour flight and 9-hour time difference will do that to you. Tried to go back to bed at 4, but gave up the attempt after an hour. I've got a mystery novel to read but I'm a bit too scattered to settle into it. Thinking about transitions, as I get ready to spend a couple of days in the city, visiting the "kids" and grandkids before heading back to the island.

I'm going to think more about this before I post more extensively on it, but these plane-window photos signal something of the enormity of the gaps--abysses, even-- that get elided or collapsed or mental-papered-over with many of our life transitions. Yesterday we were in Paris with its foundational tones of stone and today we live between deep forest green and oceans of blue and grey. In between were these monumental scenes framed by a small window that formed a barrier between a relatively comfortable environment (yes, too dry, too cramped, a bit too human-smelly, but warm enough and the oxygen was adequate) and the certain death of 70 below!

Strangeness we scarcely pause at anymore. But dissonant, surely, at some deep, inchoate place inside us. So I'm pondering. And catching up on the 240 posts that have piled up in my feed. And drinking my favourite tea with my Squirrelly bread toast (with just the right amount of butter and honey). I'll shower without having to remember anything about the taps. I'll pick my granddaughter up from preschool and take the bus with her. Hug her mom, cuddle her little brother. I'll have a long afternoon nap with a pillow I won't even notice, it's so right for me. 'Cause we don't so often, do we, notice all those beautiful, steady, small grace notes that have become "just right" through daily burnishing over many years.

A hodge-podge post, this, as I begin to fret and feather and nest myself back into whatever home will be now. Wolfe was right, You really can't go home again, even after only 7 weeks, things will shift. And at the risk of being too precious, I will be sorting out some of what that means for me as I review my travels and begin to think to the future. Watch this space. ;-)

I won't be back home to my regular computer (oh, how I have missed my desktop!) until the weekend -- I'm hanging out with a Grade Two on her Pro-D day tomorrow, lucky me--so I won't be caught up with comments until early next week. But I've read every one of them and thank you ever so much for being such great travel companions. Pater thanks you, too, for letting him off the listening hook occasionally.

And before I turn back to my book, for those of you who have been enjoying my daughter's posts from Rome (where she is an ex-pat mom, currently stay-at-home, learning the city accompanied by her very active toddler), she's posted again, with photos and words that complement my own post on family visits and the sorrows of saying goodbye. Inexcusable plug or just a proud mom here - you decide!

30 comments:

  1. Welcome home, Mater. There is, for me, always a sense of disorientation when making the transition from one world to another. I sense it more upon returning home than heading out on an adventure. Jet lag is a wretched thing. Have fun with your family in Vancouver. I'll be there tomorrow for Pro D at a Modern Language Teacher's convention.

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    1. Thanks, Lorrie, it is disorienting, but spending time with the little ones (Hattie's face lit up so when she saw me at her preschool pickup) is very grounding. And I managed to sleep until 4 a.m. this morning, so I'm ready for a fun day with the liberated young scholar. Enjoy your Vancouver day--it's always good to spend time with one of your "tribes"!

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  2. Welcome home! Oh how I get this post! In the space of a week I have gone from the delights of Hawaii to home and work and trips to the hospital with my parents, to wake up this morning in Edmonton to a chorus of 'wake up Nana' from four little ones. Thank you for broaching the subject of this particular discombobulation!
    I look forward to reading about what will come next for you.

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    1. So glad you got that time away--it's the only way you could continue to give to all who need you as grace-fully as you do.

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  3. Welcome home! You've just taken me back years to the Frank Sinatra song ..It so nice to go travelling. .He mentions Paris and Rome!! :) Ending with "but its so much nicer to come home!" I m sure in your case you're wishing you could divide yourself between Rome and Canada. Enjoy being in your familiar and comfortable routine with your other grandchildren ...relax and take care!!
    Rosemary

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    1. Ah, Frank and I! you're right, though, that these matters are often more complicated than the songs suggest. That said, I'm happy to be here right now, with all the local family to catch up with. Thanks, Rosemary!

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  4. I've really enjoyed Rhiannons post too!
    Rosemary/Rosie :)

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    1. You know how to make a Momma happy😉

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  5. Welcome home! And to us ,too:-)
    You'll have to think and write about till next trip
    Have a beautiful weekend with your family
    (As it happens,we always miss and are missed somewhere else)
    Dottoressa

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    1. Yes, so very true. The existential condition, really...

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  6. What are those incredible mountains on photo no. 3?
    Personally, I always found it harder to travel from west to east, because you loose some hours instead of gaining them. But in the end it may be true that it is coming home and setlling back into "normal life" which is the most difficult part of travelling that far.
    I'm glad you were received with blue skies and autumn colours.

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    1. Aren't they magnificent? Those are part of the Rockies, between southern Alberta and southern British Columbia. Moving toward the last hour of the flight, but a good ten-or-twelve-hour drive from home...
      And I agree that east to west is easier, but it does mean absolutely crashing in the afternoon for the first few days, as I wake between 1 and 4 in the morning, so must have a nap. And I have the luxury of doing that now, luckily...

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  7. Welcome home! Yes, it's dislocating. Still inspires wonder in me that we (living closer to Europe than you) can have breakfast in Paris, dinner in Montréal! There's a deep pleasure in settling into your own desk, kitchen, etc. which you will likely feel more intensely once the jet lag's over. And welcome to your new life!

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    1. Thanks, Duchesse. Yes, although I'm returning home, it is to a new life in so many ways. But the constancy of desk and kitchen and woodstove is hugely comforting.

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  8. Welcome home. It's been an amazing trip! And now your newest adventure begins! There really is no place like home :)

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. It has been a wonderful trip indeed, and you're right that being back home doesn't mean that the adventures are over. . . Onward ;-)

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  9. Welcome home! For the routine early riser, homecoming can be even more debilitating. Retirement means that the nap is part of the day. After Paris and Rome,
    you will probably feel cultural withdrawal. I always do because it is so easy to walk down a street and see a historically significant site or a new gallery to visit. It is so different from our natural splendour. Are you doing something special with Nola?

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    1. I don't know how I'd manage the time difference without my nap in the afternoon -- already an early riser, I've been waking even earlier -- 3:30 this morning. . . I do feel a withdrawal, visual, especially, although, as you say, so much natural beauty here to compensate. on Friday, Nola and I walked along False Creek to Granville Island -- lots to see along the way!

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  10. Welcome back. I was reading while you were away but not really commenting anywhere on blogs as things have been pretty busy here.

    I'll be interested to hear more of your thoughts on liminality.

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    1. It's so hard to keep up with commenting on the blogs we read, isn't it? I have to admit I've given myself a pass on this lately, although I do love the conversations when I can manage them. Thanks for reading -- I hope my thoughts on liminality coalesce soon . . .

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  11. Hope you are now happily settled into home again - playing the game of This Time Last Week I Was....? That always fries my brain.

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    1. Yes, exactly. It's something we're really not wired to comprehend. . .

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  12. So glad to find your blog after following your European trip on Instagram. Am on a tablet at the moment which I hate as I can't touch type on it, but I will comment more once reunited with my laptop. Just to say briefly - I know so well that dislocation after travel. The most intense was after we'd spent 3 weeks in LA on a house exchange holiday. On our return I saw Scotland through a haze of blinding sunlight, bleached colours and palm trees, as if they were on a film before my eyes. Those palm trees were particularly disconcerting in Edinburgh! (Linda @occasionalscotland)

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    1. Oh, you're like me. I'm a rather fast touch typist and find the keypad screens a very poor substitute! All my blogging while away was on either my iPad or my iPhone, and I'm so very happy to be back on my big ol' desktop PC!
      I can relate very well to what you say about the LA to Edinburgh dissonance. I've actually found that my eyes need a few hours to begin adjusting well for distance when I'm back home -- on city trips in Europe, they're generally focussing on something just across a narrow cobbled road (I'm exaggerating and generalizing, but the phenomenon is noticeable).

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  13. Quite astonishing images. And I've found :all those beautiful, steady, small grace notes that have become "just right" through daily burnishing over many years," to be a real revelation, having never had time to really look at them before. It is a transition full of both discomfort and ease, I find. I look forward to your continued musings. And I'm glad you're back home.

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    1. Aren't they amazing, those views? Yes, discomfort and ease both -- perhaps a good balance for staying alert to life. . .

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  14. I always used to hear grandparents and aunts say , "Oh , I'll be glad to get back to my own bed " , at the end of a holiday and wonder why . Now I'm older , I know exactly what they mean .
    But it's still a wrench to say goodbye to one's children ...

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    1. Yes, again, as Lisa says above, the discomfort and ease twinned. .. my own bed, but the goodbyes. . .

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  15. Looking down from an airplane always reminds me how vast the world is, even if we can move from one continet to another in only a few hours. Love the images!
    I have also loved following your trip to Europe and look forward to following your next adventure. Enjoy your time back home.

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    1. Thanks, Givi. I found the vastness comforting -- no, perhaps, just rendering a bigger perspective to my life? -- as well as somewhat intimidating, awesome. . .

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