Mar. 12th, 2009

raybear: (chik-fil-a)
I'm sitting on [ profile] anjiyama's couch, wrapped in quilts made by her mom. Its overcast this morning and I'm cold, but that's also because I'm not really wearing any clothes, short of boxers and an a-frame. After a warm shower and getting dressed, I will be fine, the sun will come out, I'm going for a walk. I'm on the third trip in two months: first was Miami, then the road trip to Atlanta, and now the southern California leg. One project I'm going to work on while here is transcribing the digital audio notes I made along the way (including some bits of conversations with my father while we drove around the old neighborhoods), start culling and editing footage, and also start writing out the essay I want to make about the experience. All of these final products will find there way here in some form, I'm sure, but in the meantime, I will report that the trip was really, really great. Parts of it were weird or hard or sad or strange, but even those moments I approached most often with curiosity, nothing was painful. And all of the amazing good things outweighed it anyway: seeing old friends and meeting their awesome kids (who are so much like their parent), eating favorite foods, driving all over town and revisiting places and feelings, and lots of small amazing moments of clarity during my interactions with people, about myself and about my history. The trip was exactly what I wanted and even more than I possibly hoped for. And my parents. My parents. They are exactly the same. We were exactly the same. Which is both strange, to have an 8 year gap and we never directly addressed the how/why of that, but also familiar and good, to just have interactions to show, ok, we are all the same people, we have in some ways had this same struggle all along, in that my way of seeing the world doesn't exactly fit into their way of seeing the world. No grand epiphanies happened, just more the elements of my life were brought into sharper focus, and now that I'm away from the trip, there is still pain and sadness in my heart about it at times, but for the most part, I feel ready to sort of close the door on this chapter, to call a truce of sorts. It is hard to remain angry after facing in person the pain and sadness of it all, I can't sustain anger at people who are so at a loss for what to do. But also, I will not suddenly become someone who is close to their parents, who calls and visits them all the time. They will not suddenly 'get' my life and the choices I've made. They are not the family/parents I desire, I am not the child they desired, but we are all who we are and I feel ready to just accept the reality of that, along with the reality of wanting to still participate in each others' lives in some way, there is still love present in all of its awkward desires. I will make the trip again, it won't be 8 years. It might even be almost every year, in the spring. And on the way home, I will stop in places like Louisville and Nashville where my other family is, people who make me sandwiches for the road and stay up until 1 am talking, who tell me they love me so freely that I blush when I hear it.

So that is the general summary. Concrete stories to follow in some form, at some time. For now, I'm going to enjoy southern California (and my family here) before I return home to begin the process of finding a job teaching writing.

Oh, and I ate Chick-fil-a three and a half times. The half is because I brought home 3 sandwiches, two for [ profile] dommeyourass and one I ate for breakfast the morning after getting home.

May 2010

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