I wrote this two weeks after I returned from Spain:
“It’s been almost two weeks since I returned to the Colorado and exactly that amount of time since I posted anything to this blog. Today, I took my dog for a walk and as I sat on top of a green hill overlooking a meddow and then the steeper hill that arcs sharply down to the stream that flows underneath the new FasTracks project, I thought about how the entire ten months in Spain feels like an incredibely intricate dream. And then I thought about how unsurprised I would be to wake up in my bed in Spain to discover that the last two weeks were the actual dream and that I had never returned or, really, lived in the U.S. at all. I took that to mean that my brain has separated the two lives into just that, two lives. Two mindsets, groups of friends, families, schools and the rest. That all made me think about how incredible it is that I was able to do what I had done while I was seventeen. Not many people my age travel through a foreign country on their own, meeting new people, drinking strange drinks, eating bizarre foods, and living through the absurd experiences that I did. Not to mention acclimating to a new family, friends, and language.This is where I wish I could write the cliche “I’ll never forget” paragraph. Truth is, I’ll probably forget most of the people I met. And most of them will forget me. And both of us will most likely forget the moments we spent together. But that doesn’t make the things we did any less meaningful. I’ve come to think of the last year as a lifetime within itself. Like an exchange, you do not get to choose the parents you are given nor the situation you are put into. The only thing you can control is how you handle it once you are there. There’s a language to learn, a group of friends to elect, and work to be done. When it’s over, it’s over. There’s no returning to the same lifestyle that you both left when you went abroad or the one you created in your host country.”
Now the update from the current five month mark:
The dream feeling as left and life has returned to it’s normal feel. School goes on, video projects continue to begin and end, and I’ve once again found my friends. The reason I have waited so long to post has just been the general rush that my life has been. That and a sort of quietness in the mind. A sort of zen. A lot of my creativity stems from chaos or over-thinking and since I have been back in the U.S. I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to over-think. I’ve decided to continue this blog but mostly just a place for my random muse. Short stories, poems, and small rants. And the occasional update for the family members who are following just to find out what I’m up to.
There is one question which we seldom ask each other directly. It is too brutal, and yet it is the only question worth asking our fellow travellers: What makes you go on living? Why don’t you kill yourself? Why is all this bearable? What makes you bear it?
Could I answer that question about myself? No. Yes. Perhaps … I supposed, vaguely, that it was a kind of balance, a complex of tensions. You did whatever was next on the list. A meal to be eaten. Chapter eleven to be written. The telephone rings. You go off somewhere in a taxi. There is one’s job. There are amusements. There are people. There are books. There are things to be bought in shops. There is always something new. There has to be. Otherwise the balance would be upset, the tension would break. Christopher Isherwood, Prater Violet
I always forget that Andrew Jackson Jihad is not a good band to reccomend to people unless they A) really like me B) have a strange sense of humor and C) like punk. So, yeah, few people fit that description. Although more than you’d probably think.
Many see the glass as either half full or half empty. I like to keep my glass full. I like to keep it filled to the brim with good wine if available, but iced tea works well enough if it is raining outside. It is a clay Kiddush cup, but I use it all of the time, not just on Fridays and Saturdays. Decorated with intricate carvings along the edges and into the base, I allow the smallest of cracks in it, a smaller one which peaks and splits at the rim, just to keep it all in perspective. I normally leave my full glass of wine with the smallest of cracks in it on the top of a very precarious pile of books concerning the psychological make up of psychology professors. This keeps my army of trained rats in control. You see, they have been taught to fear psychology books. They wield thumb tacks and goldfish as part of their mandatory uniform.
One time, a very long time ago, an Italian man named Scolio unknowingly took a sip from my cracked Kiddush cup. Scolio is dead. But, don’t get the wrong idea, I didn’t kill him. My army of rats did. Thank God.