Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Contemplation after the Fourth

Last night I watched the DC sky fill with light from a friend's boss's rooftop. I have to confess I wasn't thinking about America unless thinking about America means not really thinking about it---what I mean is that our freedom allows us not to think about it. I remember being in Israel for their Independence Day and really feeling connected to the country even though I had only been there a few days.

There are so many things we don't have to think about here, or perhaps we think about the wrong things. Listening to the people I know here and the way they talk about work, politics, but not so much about family, love, and togetherness and the things that really matter. I often wonder if this is what living on the east coast does, though I know this is a gross generalization. So many restaurants and bars where open last night (not Kimpton!) and I wondered why. Back in Ohio it seemed like Belmont Ave. would close down and no one would be out...but out in their backyards. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic and not remembering correctly. This seems to be like one does when one goes from one thing to another, whether place, person, memory, or thing.

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm at a crossroads, not sure what the different paths are, but with the book and being here in DC, and quote on quote making a life here. It's funny, I always advocate for planting roots, but I seem to like to uproot myself fairly often. But I know I'm not going anywhere this time. Class has started and I'm really excited about learning about my new students and seeing what doors writing opens for them and I'm excited about teaching online. And Mendi left a note on my blog---what the internet does for creating community and bringing people together. And the book and all the wonderful people I've met through poetry and bartending. I guess this is what it's all about---navigating the waters, both familiar and unfamiliar. Yesterday Regrets Only: Contemporary Poets on the Theme of Regret came in the mail ( and I'm taken back to where I was in 2001, somewhere between Kent and New York City and trying to locate myself. Here's the observation I had: "The difference between drowning and breathing/ is how fast you move your arms."


Roonie said...

I know what you mean. July 4th isn't a bar night in the Midwest - it's a togetherness night. I miss summers in the Midwest. People really know how to enjoy themselves and the people they love when they know the months won't always be so warm.

I feel the same, I love uprooting myself, but I see nothing wrong with roots. I'm in the process of uprooting myself again...can't seem to take my own advice, ever.

Literanista said...

Thanks for mentioning the book, I'm featured in it as well.