Times Like These

Again, it has been too long.  But inspiration to write is a luxury that tends to be absent in times of crisis.  It returns when things settle.

Here is an incomplete list of things that have gone on since my last post.  Things that should be said before moving on so as not to leave a three month long vacuum in my life.

1) I got my van!  If you recall the camper van photo in my post on that topic…my van looks nothing like it.  My van looks like this:  It is beautiful, sturdy, and requiring much love before being habitable, but already when I crawl inside it, I feel safe and happy.  If you know my penchant for escape, then you know why.

2) I went to Europe!  The plan for this epic trip was in the works for  about a year, and I wish it weren’t so, but in the wake of other things, it has come, gone, and already feels distant.  So at least let me briefly immortalize it here.  I went with my mother, starting in Warsaw and going to Krakow, Prague, and Paris.

I must say, Poland impressed me.  We stayed near the university in Warsaw’s reconstructed Old Town, and everyone around us seemed stylish, intelligent, and optemistic.  For a city that had to be completely rebuilt in a country that has experienced crisis after crisis, there was an incredible air of self sufficiency and pride.  Some of the best food of the trip was eaten in Warsaw and Krakow.  Krakow was more classically European, but far more touristy, and its people seemed more worn out than in Warsaw.  I would go back.  I could even stay.

Prague has become the tourism hot spot of Europe, and it’s obvious why.  Prague is ungodly beautiful.  Almost too beautiful.  Fairytale beautiful.  But the Czech know it and charge for it, and the center of town is crawling, I mean literally crawling with tourists.  Still, good things came of Prague.  The John Lennon Wall, for one.  Look it up.  An old man playing a hurdy-gurdy, for another.  Look that up, too.

And Paris.  Paris, Paris, Paris.  It’s not a lie, people.  Everyone loves Paris because it really is THAT AWESOME.  I don’t care how cliche it seems to love Paris.  I have decided that she is worthy.  Somehow, she has managed to be one of the best loved cities in the world, see millions of tourists a year, and still keep her soul.  My only complaint, after my brief stay in New York poisoned me forever, is that people in Paris walk really slowly. Otherwise…it’s pointless to name the reasons I was grateful to be back there.  We stayed for a week, and even though it was the end of the trip, and we were tired, it was not easy to go home.

I’m not going to try to pick and choose any photos here, but they’re all up on ‘The Facebook’ anyway.

Soon, when I am less distracted, I will feel a physical, painful longing when I think of Europe.  It will last until I go back.  And I will go back.

3) Contrary to what I’ve been saying for the past while, and probably proving me as a fraud, we just signed a year lease for an apartment in Albuquerque.  After returning from three weeks in Europe, it was starkly evident that we had to get out of this house.  It’s winter time now, cottonwood leaves, crows, and visible breath.  We still don’t have a kitchen, a hot water heater that works for more than a couple hours a day, or more than a single space heater in the bedroom.  Mutual breaches in contract, I feel, have released us anyway, but at this point, there’s really no choice.  It has become a dangerous psychological environment.

The apartment in Albuquerque is cute, retro-chic with old linoleum and green carpet.  To know that I will have a stove and a shower and a heater within a week fills me with indescribable relief and thankfulness.  (And for that, I am glad that I’ve had to live this way.)  I can put the garbage bags full of clothes in a closet, the food and dishes in cabinets.  Hopefully, I can write again.  I have decided to go back to school in January, and it is close to campus, close to my closest friends, close to what I consider the elements of my real life.

I blame place.  I always blame place.  When I saw recently that my old New York roommates now want to move to Brooklyn, I wanted to scream because against all rationale, I believe that a different place could have saved us.  I believe that now.  Whether it is irrational or not, place plays a huge role in the falling apart and the putting back together.

Sometimes I think the key is just to keep moving.  To move, and move, and move.  Well, here’s to hope for a year of staying in one place.

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~ by Lenore Gusch on November 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “Times Like These”

  1. You are too awesome for your own good and mine.

  2. Location location location

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