In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. People from my past float through strangely familiar landscapes. Last night my friend Julie who died years ago, walked by my side, her long curly hair falling softly around her shoulders. I haven’t remembered my dreams for most of the time I’ve lived in Chicago, a departure from the norm for me.

It’s Wednesday morning and Greg and I are drinking breakfast smoothies that I made. He’s watching last night’s The Daily Show on his computer at his desk and I’m typing these words out. It’s chilly in the house, the seasons having definitely changed; fall is here. Things have changed in general the last week. I can feel it. But until it’s more tangible, I won’t try to explain.

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Familiar Places

It’s a kind of grey and listless morning. I’m listening to classical violin music and the dishwasher swishes and hums in the background.

I was thinking about my mother this morning. And about how she moved to Atlanta to marry my father, much like how I moved here to Chicago to be with and marry Greg. Thinking about that similarity made me wish I could talk to her all the more.

Over the weekend I was catching up with one of my sisters-in-law who was in town and I was trying to put words to whatever this wanting feeling is inside of me. My words cracked though and the lump in my throat prohibited me from saying very much. It did finally occur to me, as I was speaking, that this is the first place in my life that I’ve lived where I have absolutely no roots or history or connection.

In all the other places I’ve lived in my life, I’ve had other family members  as well as a shared history with that place. Some sort of connection or memory, vital to feeling part of something. When I moved to Atlanta after New York I had two cousins living there, as well as friends. It was also a place I’d been to, a place where my mother lived for a long time, a place with familiar places.

When I moved to Los Angeles my father was already living there, his condominium having belonged to my Aunt Jean — it was a place that I’d been visiting since I was a child. And after he died and I settled in Venice, by the beach, I had several close friends from high school and college all living in close proximity.

But here, in Chicago, there is nothing of my past. Nothing of my life previous to Greg. There is no one here who has known me for much longer than a year. There are no familiar places for me to go — nowhere reminiscent of another time in my life, or of family or past.

This might sound insignificant but when I realized it, I also realized that I’d alighted upon the one thing that  has made this move different from the others.

Greg and I have a new post up on She Wrote, He Wrote today:
Always a Hit, The Mortified Reading Series Makes Chicago Blush Again

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Letting Go

It’s Friday morning and I’m not working today. The house is quiet and I can hear a leaf blower down the street. I’m trying to kick coffee so the small amount I had is gone now, the cup washed and in the sink. It’s cool outside and the sun is just breaking over the roof next door, the wide swath of yellow light reflecting back at me.

I’m not going to work today. I generally don’t work on Fridays, but each week it never ceases to feel like a treat. I spent the evening at home last night by myself while Greg went to a soccer game with his best friend Tarek. I hadn’t stayed home alone in a while and it was nice. I went to a yoga class in the early evening and walked home through my quiet neighborhood streets, pools of golden leaves beginning to collect in drifts on the sidewalk. I had soup for dinner and watched television with the cats. Later I put myself to bed, reading for a while before I turned off the light.

I thought back on my last year in Los Angeles, about what it was like to really live alone for the first time in my life. I remembered walking home along the quiet Venice streets at night after dinner with friends, about walking up the stairs to my old little apartment on the canals, the ducks quacking softly in the night air. Those were good days. Hard ones too. The thing I’d been afraid of all along — aloneness — something I was finally coming to know and love.

I’m going back to LA in a couple of weeks — for the first time since I left. I’m nervous and excited. It’s a strange feeling to revisit a place you where you once lived for so long. The first time I went back to New York after I’d moved to Los Angeles, I began crying the moment I got in the cab, and continued to do so all the way along the BQE, across the Williamsburg bridge and into the city. Just crying for the enormity of a life lived and fought, teeth gritted and a heart dissolved, something that once was and will never be again.

I’ve been feeling better the last couple of days, trying to just let go. Always trying to let go.

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