Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To recreate oneself is not a simple task

White Bear, who has been a traveling companion for me since we were introduced at an airport in Poland on New Year's Eve, checks out the view from the hood of our Suburban. Since he never had been to America before now, White Bear was generally only familiar with the smaller vehicles of Europe. Impressed by the size of a Suburban, he wasted no time learning how to drive it. Since I prefer to be a passenger rather than a driver, we have agreed that he will do most of the driving when we set out on a road trip in September. Unfortunately, for me, I was unable to persuade the young lady who introduced me to White Bear also to return to America with us.

Summer becomes a single moment in time

Part 1 of 2

Sometimes, it is easy to forget who you are and what you are and why you are. A year ago at this time, I was disgusted with American social and political strife (my external world) and bored with my personal life and surroundings as they existed (my internal world).

The eventual result was a flight to Europe in December. Without discussing the details, I will simply say that, for the most part, I was very happy there, and leaving was not easy.

Fast forward to the present.

Now, a few weeks after my return to America, the "same old" external and internal dissatisfaction has quickly caught up with me, and I am determined to break away again -- possibly, to remain in America or, maybe, to move on out to try Europe once again. (Those of you who have read my commentaries here in the past might recall this was my third trip to Europe, however, the first two were as a participant in a "conventional" tour group, with each stay lasting only about three weeks. This time, I rented an apartment and set up housekeeping for more than three months.)

Primary among my reasons for returning to America at this point was the sale of my house. I received an offer on it in March and, after thinking about it a couple of weeks, I decided to accept it. I could have handled the paperwork from Europe, but I had a considerable number of possessions remaining in the house or near to it.

So, back I came, and, in a leisurely manner (at least, until the past week) began the process of dividing things into four piles: Sell, give away, throw away or keep. I am pleased to report that I met the deadline (sort of), and withdrew the last of my possessions from the house this weekend.

I have leased a townhouse for three months, which should be more than ample time for me to complete my tasks here -- which, primarily, are to dispose of personal property that includes three lots, one "extra" automobile, books, guns, a coin collection and other odds and ends. I also need to spend some time writing (I hope).

When I said "sort of" in regard to meeting the deadline for clearing my house, I meant a number of boxes and assorted odds and ends are now piled up in the townhouse living room and in one of the three bedrooms. Oh, the tedium of going through boxes, some of which have been unopened for a decade or two ....

As I stated, I was happy -- very happy, for the most part -- living in the midst of winter in Europe, and I miss those days more than I can say. I am very much in love with so much of what is the Continent, yet, I am very much of a traditional American man in that within the first few days after arriving back here my activity included buying another Chevrolet Suburban (to replace the one I had sold before my departure) and two more rifles.

That is the American psyche within me from which I cannot escape -- the man who needs to drive one of the biggest vehicles on the highway and who needs rifles and handguns to feel secure and comfortable within the boundaries of his native country. Fool that I am. To recreate oneself is not a simple or an easy task -- at least not for me.

There you have it. There exists three month's time in which to organize (or to reorganize, if you prefer) my life -- to sell, to give away, to throw away and to decide what to keep and where to store it. And, that is the simple part of the equation. Ah, the magical, mystical dilemma. Where does one go when there is no obvious place to go to fulfill dreams and desires?

Some readers might also note that I have not mentioned resuming my search for a new house on a hill by a river or a lake. In truth, the further my former "Sanctuary / Refuge" drifts into my past, the more distant the thought of such a destination in the near future becomes. Maybe, someday, but it does not seem all that important to me right now.

Right now consists of a single Summer, a span of only three months, to plot a new course, while disposing of a significant portion of possessions collected during past incarnations. Life is a search. Some people end their searches in their own back yards. I often wonder how many of them are truly happy there, and how many actually are delusional liars who only claim to have found happiness. Some people never end their search, and I think whatever and wherever my end will be, fate does not mean for me to set up a last camp quite yet.

(To be continued)

1 comment:

Katy said...

Ah, now Fram I think you may be in need of a visit from God's* hoover - that magical implement that sucks all of one's possessions up into the ether and spits back a carefully selected 10% (or thereabouts)...

Sounds like you've been having a pretty life-changing time of it all. I do so hope that your visit to Europe turned out to offer all that you'd hoped and more. Your pictures of Poland are wonderful - it certainly looks as if your apartment was in a stunning location.

You're quite right, of course, recreating oneself is no easy task. Whilst some changes seem to come about quite naturally with the accumulation of years and experience (good and bad alike), there are some parts of the pysche that are as stubbornly resistant to change as a laden donkey at the bottom of a steep hill on a hot day. For what it's worth, I do think that learning to accept ourselves for what we are - and to cease beating ourselves up for what we are not - is as good a starting place for the future as any.

Congratulations on selling your house and it sounds as if you've got plenty more exciting times to come - a virtual toast to the future, then, and all it may hold. And yes, welcome back to the world of blog.

* Please insert deity of your choice

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