Friday, March 13, 2009

Observer of all, participant of none

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest (of the United States), where, for the first time in many weeks, I find myself with a spare moment and a computer. My travels in the past month have taken me far and wide and at the moment I feel like I don't have any home at all. Oddly, perhaps even ironically, it seems likely this place will actually probably be my home one day. But that day seems very distant indeed.

In my displaced, disoriented state, I've found it interesting to observe people who are at home in these places and to imagine what it must be like to have certain things as your "normal." How must it be to hear mariachi music through your window every night? Or to watch a gigantic Mexican flag taken up and down outside your office every day? To grab a coffee at a pick up window on your way to class? To know the differences between 18 types of oysters? Or to feel like you the parking spot on the street in front your house is yours? I am having difficulty comprehending.

Grappling around a restaurant bathroom lit by just one little candle last night, I wondered to myself (more existentially than literally, but also literally), where am I? And how did I come to be living this adult life here, in this place? What is my own normal? And why do I feel like an anthropologist in my own country? It is hard to tell if I am coming or going.

1 comment:

JulieAnn and the Captain said...

I was wondering when you'd write again :) How are your travels going?
Any news on your hubby's job?? We just got orders this morning to head East - I'll email you about it later.

And I've had that anthropologist feeling too to some extent - it stinks. When do you go back to Europe?? What is your plan for the next few months? I owe you some Mac n cheese!! :)