Saturday, October 3, 2009

itchy feet & staying put

we just bought a new house, and it's kind of freaking me out.

here's the thing: for all that western oregon is the only place i feel at home, for all my over-developed place attachment, for all that i can never seem to stay away, i get - with striking regularity - seriously itchy feet every two to three years that demand to be taken out for a long walkabout, so they can see and experience new things.

ever since i was 16 and moved to eugene, it's been the case:
1990 - to eugene (and back to LC in 1992)
1992 - to montana
1995 - back to oregon: albany, then corvallis
1998 - to maine
2000 - back to oregon: LC, then corvallis
2004 - to germany
2007 - back to corvallis

the trend is ominous. it's been two years now and prior history would indicate that my yo-yo nature - or, as i prefer to think of it, my tidal nature - is about to slingshot me out on another run. yet i'm full of this conflicting desire - or dedication, really - to make sure that j. can graduate high school here. in other words, it's time for somebody to nail my feet to the floor. i guess being a homeowner might do the trick.

instead of moving, i've been talking with my palm reader about 'radical openness'. not radical in the sense of packing up and moving someplace new. radical in the sense of trying tiny new things every day, so that one can have new experiences while staying in the same location. this blog is part of that - sort of an ongoing discussion about place, what it means, and a bit of reveling in what it means to stay. so is my current doubling of jewelry-wearing (i put on another ring recently, and have decided it is ok). i'm learning to fly-fish, which i'm pretty excited about. i'm trying to stay here - mentally and physically - instead of always looking forward. i'm returning, in some sense, to my 'see america first!' phase. only it's even more restricted: see the northwest first! i'm trying to get back to really knowing my place, renewing my appreciation for my place, living local - remembering favorite trails, remembering the names of plants, trying to let - say - the sun rising through the trees be my own 300-year-old cathedral.

in the midst of this worry, we went to olympic national park to go backpacking last weekend. and i found my cathedral.

so, it's working. i mean, if that isn't the voice of god/spirit/earth/whatever telling me to stay put and celebrate, i don't know what is.

and just in case the subtlety of that message escaped me, the beach in washington left me a more explicit one:

i'll be staying put for a while.
thank you, trees! thank you, sun! thank you, beach! i love you too.

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