Taking the metro home after another house party in DC reading a blog entry on a blackberry-like device similar to what every politician here has and it struck me how domestic and settled I am here in DC. Laura Rip is in on the south pole running up and down halls for parties, watching auroras fade in and out, realizing how darkness can cause paranoia, all the while I am baking bread, worrying about lease on the house, trying to get the vegetable garden protected from the squirrels, and just catching a grove in life that I might stick in for a few years. For someone like me who likes to be wandering around and being enlightened by cultures, unique experiences, and being faced with an amazing humanity, I find it strange to have forgotten how distant my world is from the rest of humanity. Not to long ago I was pissed off with our landlord for his ineptitude and what I considered stupidity. In retrospect I am embarrassed at my overwhelming inwardness. So what if he is being passive aggressive and handling things poorly. I am living well, very healthy, gainfully employed, enjoy life generally, etc. I know I harp on the idea of blowing the small things off, but it seems to be a theme in life for me these last several year.
Living in DC has been nice as to meet people who have at least uprooted and seen more of the other 5 billion people. I realize more often here that my love of travel, cultures, and new scenery is more wide spread in some demographics the I previously perceived and it is refreshing. Here I am more likely remember to take time for me and rest, do nothing, and not feel guilty because so often I am reminded by various random conversation concerning someone else’s trip to Mozambique, Guatemala, or the year they spent in Israel. The hustle and bustle of this city with the workacholics (that I am now one of), bad taxi driver, constant sirens, crazy politics, low pay, etc is real, but should be thought of as a facade and blown off occasionally. For me especially, if I don’t, I could easily slide into an extremely cynical and probably even hateful person.
Even so I fairly regularly come home two exhausted to think straight after many long days of putting my heart into work and find myself with 10 new things I though of to put on my endless tasklist. My email says “there is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do,” (Bill Watterson) and it’s a saying that is easily overlooked when you are tired and not thinking straight.
Of course when I am thinking straight and stop and reflect that i’ve been here for 10 months it seems crazy. I’m extremely settled with a schedule of house tasks, work projects that satisfy, a few acquaintances that amuse, and generally more satisfied with the good I’m doing with my day to day life then I have been since MacTown. Yet I do live in a city and often forget what stars look like or what its like to have a siren free night.
Reading Rip’s blog on the bottom of the world reminds me that I will not likely get tied down to a place I am to comfortable in. Biking to work, working in a green building, with people who genuinely care about the world is a dream come true, but one that needs refreshing with excursion regularly in order to really realize how good life is and can be if you make it that way. Maybe some day I’ll go see the stars from the bottom of the planet too!