I'm in the middle of these things, of unearthing these reminders of myself. The places I've been, the people who mattered to me then and now, old letters, old photographs, the treasures and the junk. Of sorting through what to take with me and what to throw out, what stays in the archive and what will be lost or what has already been lost.
Right now I'm listening to Kasey Chambers. I think Jillian was the one who got me into her. It was over a trip to Lancaster County visiting her family. I found those pictures too. "If I'm not here in the morning...I'll learn to live in a new town, but my heart is staying here..." a random lyric. This morning one of my former students emailed me---she was only in my class for a few weeks before getting sick and having to head back home--she's reading the class books and writing. I found Maj's letter, the one that says: "I don't know much about the big city. I decided long ago that I would stay in one place and make a garden, nothing big, no ambitions for expansion. I would come to know that ground as intimately as I could, never think of it as mine and serve the work." I think of all the moving and cultivating. All the gardens we tend and then pass on to the next gardeners. I like the idea of working and leaving. John is leaving me one of his plants that won't make the move with him. My new place has places to hang hanging plants outside my door. I'm really excited about that. The more I think about it, the more I like adjuncting and bartending. It's really good for now and maybe it will be enough for a while. All I can do is what I can do. We all can.
Last night Jonathan said something that made me think: humans are not meant for the state of the world as it is---how life is full of frenzy that it hasn't been before---with all the work and technology. The emphasis on the now. He's been spending a lot of time in the office and wondering the worth of that kind of life, of 12 hour work days. I don't know. Maybe it's always been this way, maybe all "modern" societies seem too modern and we all think of the past as utopia. I think back to Maj, that simple philosophy of not being overly ambitious, of tending a small plot and planting roots that are strong enough for others to carry the seeds of your labor and replant them in their far away soil. Maj closed his letter saying Shine Shine Carly. The afternoon light comes quietly through my blinds. It is glorious.