Tuesday, November 30, 2004Backtracking
I got word yesterday that I have been formally re-admitted to my old college. There are still a couple of hoops to jump through -- I still have to clear the financial aid hurdle (I sure must love student debt), and I still have to figure out where/how to live on campus (please, god, just give me a single... I'm too old and grouchy to share a room with a nineteen-year-old pup.) This is a definite case of not counting my proverbial chickens, but those are both relatively minor concerns. The biggest obstacle has been cleared.
At a time like this I guess it's natural to feel one's feet getting chilly... you mean I might really, truly, actually go back? In real life and everything? Whoa. That's a pretty chewy concept for me.
It'll be nice to go back to the soothing, humanist arms of New England, where the scale of American life is decreased somewhat but people still manage to have big, expansive thoughts and ideas. I'll be going back to Howard Dean's state (where many people still consider him "too conservative"... heh, that's the place for me), where every little town has a whole foods/vegetarian restaurant and plenty of good bookstores, where the daily apparel of choice is mukluks and Tibetan wool hats and big gum-soled Sorrells. I'll get to play in the snow and cloister myself in the library like a monk. And I'm more than happy to take the plentiful, home-grown Ben and Jerry's, if not so keen on the Phish.
On the other hand...
This school is where I reached a personal nadir. I was there in a very particular context, with a very specific group of people -- and those people are gone now, that context no longer exists. But places always hold a sticky psychic residue for me, and I worry that in going back to the place I'll end up confused by the absence of that context, or risk falling back into that life. It's a serious case of backtracking through life for me -- though, true, I've gotten pretty good at that of late. I sometimes feel as though London represented the furthest-flung promontory on this particular track... hard to keep going backwards, thought, when what I really want is to cross whatever metaphorical sea I'm forever standing on the banks of.
Maybe this college is where I lost my intended trail, though, eh? It would make sense, given the circumstances of my leaving (which there's no great need to go into here). Flung from the path, wandering off towards the sound of water, finding a pleasant place to gather my thoughts for a while, and lately having to scout back through the woods using the broken twigs and muddy footprints I left during my first blind stumble through.
Am I getting carried away?
Doesn't matter... it works for me.
Anyway, Shaw and Randy and Jackie, if I end up back in Bratt, I expect to see all 'a y'all before you head off to other places. Yes, I will come to New York and/or Connecticut if that's what it takes.