Sunday, July 05, 2009

I don't know how much longer I can stay in Gardiner.

One of the reasons it's been so hard for me to keep up with the blog this year is that I don't like to acknowledge the things I don't know. My mother used to say that ignorance was nothing to be proud of, and it's been surprisingly hard for me to admit that I don't know certain things. There's a reason I own eight separate covers of the Jackson Browne song "These Days," which includes the line "Don't confront me with my failures; I have not forgotten them."

Also, the big things I don't know are things that fall outside what I'm willing to blog about. (Why am I still single? Why am I always broke? What the hell is my issue, anyway?)

We've got three weeks left to run on this incarnation of the blog, and I already know what next year's version is going to be. I won't announce it until the end of the month, but I will say that it's going to be something far less personal, and with luck far more entertaining for all of us.

In the meantime, though, I'll throw out one of the big unknowns today.

Yesterday Dizzy and I had a 4th of July dinner with the Bragdons, a fine time that included Dizzy's first taste of watermelon (he likes it).

The weather turned bad, though, and I wound up driving home when I shouldn't have. It's very dark out in China, but I know that road well enough that it probably would have been okay, in decent weather. The combination of rain and dark, however, meant that I couldn't see the road very well, and only dumb luck and St. Christopher got me home without incident.

The fact that my eye disorder (a form of retinitis pigmentosa) isn't catastrophic has let me pretend that it's not going to be life-changing, but that's coming to an end. I can't drive on country roads at night any more, and it's already starting to make me change and cancel plans.

So I'm going to have to move again, sooner rather than later, into a more urban environment.

I like it here. I hate the thought of leaving. I don't know where I'll go next. Suggestions and invitations are welcome.


Jennifer Lechner said...

Suggestion: North Carolina. Invitation: always open

Anonymous said...

You know you're always welcome here in Richmond. I know you'll be sad to leave Maine, but can't wait for your next adventure.

Karen Olson said...

What about Portland? It's a lovely city.

John S said...

You're still single because you haven't met someone worthy of you. :o)

Being broke may, or may not, have something to do with how many books you buy.

Anonymous said...

Too late for Galway or Dublin?

AnswerGirl said...

"Live abroad" is on the big list of things I wanted to do at some point in my life, Sue, but I don't see how that works unless someone offers me a real job overseas.

Portland is certainly possible, and may be an interim move.

The bigger issue is that my current life is structured without a safety net, with me trying to do too many things all by myself: working for myself by myself, living alone, living in a tiny town an hour from a major urban center. It's not sustainable.

Changing any piece of that will make my life easier, and I'm not sure why I feel so obstinate and sad about the prospect.

Sue Lin said...

Now that I've lived in Baltimore for a little over five years now, I can honestly recommend it for you. Lots of pluses - affordable urban city; lots of friendly neighborhoods; temperate weather; great educational, medical facilities here; easy to get to DC (train or car), NYC, Va. anywhere on NE Corridor; plus you know folks here! DC is only 55 minutes away!

Claire said...

I'm all for you moving closer.

Ed Lamb said...

Queue up Johnny Cash's version of of "I've Been Everywhere" on your iPod. Hit pause about a minute into the song. Whatever town Cash named last, move there.

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

Okay, first of all, to quote, well, you, "Jeez." What's the question behind the question, as they say? Without getting too much into it on this blog, I would offer a few words of encouragement, and posit that some of your "issues" may not be issues at all. Yeah, not being broke is far better than being broke, but really, there are issues of poverty, and there are issues of poverty, and you really do have quite a bit of wealth in terms of control, freedom, and ability-to-sleep-with-the-choices-you-made. Yes? (N.B. I'm not saying that not having money is better, since it isn't. But there are other things to consider.) And being single may not be what you want, but again, the alternative is not always richer, and you have tremendous friends....

All that said, do come live in Cambridge, it would be fantastic. It's a better city than you give it credit for.

At any rate, the state of mind for this post seems to match up with "Let's Get Out of This Country" by Camera Obscura....

We'll pick berries and recline
Let's hit the road dear friend of mine
Wave goodbye to our thankless jobs
We'll drive for miles maybe never turn off
We'll find a cathedral city you can be handsome I'll be pretty

What does this city have to offer me?
Everyone else thinks it's the bee's knees
What does this city have to offer me?
I just can't see/I just can't see

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

One more thing...

From David Foster Wallace's Kenyon Commencement Address:

"Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

"They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.

"And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

"That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing...."

Kevin Wignall said...

I love "These Days", and that line in particular, which JB wrote when he was 19 or something! My favourite is the Nico version.

All change is difficult, of course. And at the risk of sounding a Taoist note, the only way you could lose the Gardiner you've loved is to stay when you know it's time to leave.