At long last THE PAPERBACK OF THE SPIRIT OF FLYING IS HERE!!! And what a long strange at times completely exhausting trip it’s been!
My labour of love – I hope you enjoy reading it.
I’ve just spent weeks, months even, with all these people; friends, family. We’ve been working, laughing, playing together. Now – they’re all gone. In less than a minute. I don’t even know if I’ll ever see them again in this lifetime. That we will meet again, in another time and place, is not much comfort right now.
It is as if they have fallen off the face of the planet, or been swallowed up by an earthquake. Now it’s just me again. And I have to learn to live with that fast, get on with it.
I feel disoriented, bereft, torn away.
When I open my mouth to try to tell my husband what I’m feeling – I burst into tears.
As I cry – the memories of this whole life existence fades. All in one night. All that “really” happened was that I woke up, to the noise of the gas-truck blaring, not any natural disaster.
My body feels heavy with grief, still.
Later it made me think of a particular episode of Startrek Next Generation, the one where Captain Picard awakes to find himself living in a small village where he is a well-known member of the community who is suffering from a delusion of being a starship captain. Thus stranded, thirty years lived, all in 20-25 minutes according to Riker.
I feel like this a lot of the time, as if my memories of my “real” life away from this planet are just out of reach most of the time, but very certain that living as a human on this planet, at this time, on this planet, is some kind of interlude. Unlike Picard, who retains his memories clearly from his life on-board the Enterprise, mine are a lot more hazy.
Still the feeling of looking for my life in this existence, for meaning. Knowing without the shadow of a doubt that the basics of existence will never satisfy me. That is like only having one book to read after living in a library; never travel – even curtsey of discovery or history channels; just grow your own vegetable garden and never again set foot in an exotic restaurant; never leave your village or town ever again; same people, same conversations, same gossip, day in, day out. That just is not me.
I don’t know how to squeeze myself into such a small life when I know there is so much more out there.
A bit like Rose Tyler trying to describe what can not be put into words in this short clip from Dr Who:
Startrek; The next generation: Series 5, Episode 25, The Inner Light.
Not long after the Enterprise approaches an unknown buoy or satellite, Captain Picard falls unconscious on the bridge. He awakens in a village where he is married but also something of a village eccentric who thinks he is a spaceship captain by the name of Picard. His wife Eline tries to soothe him and his good friend Batai does not judge him. He lives a full life, has children and grows old. The planet he is on is dying however, suffering from a long and seemingly permanent drought. On board the Enterprise, the crew does its best to revive their unconscious captain but to no avail.
The dusk and dawn
When the worlds overlap so slightly
is when the pain of separation
is at it’s most intense.
I never looked at it that way
I only knew it hurt
but I couldn’t work out why
I’d been just fine five minutes before
just like for me in 3d
I often don’t realize how much I miss something
by having it once more
a blessing in itself, in disguise
So at dusk the pain of separation from
my soul family is so palpable
because of those on the other side
are cloaked but near.
It hurts so bad I never made the connection
I never thought that’s what it was
when I compare the two
missing someone who has passed over
or longing for someone who is away
I can see they are one and the same for me.
So here I am subconsciously thinking I’m travelling and
moving the world over
in search of my souls cherished companions
where I need first to explore
and know intimately
the Pain of Separation.
And I know how to be a stranger
just as I know how to pack up and move.
Years of temping taught me how to pick up and fit in
without ever being noticed.
To the next place, and the next…
Many times I wanted to stay
mostly for the camaraderie I witnessed
but it was not to be
and anyway, I was always too soul restless for that.
I’d spend a year with the same group and
the itchy feet would start
Like watching from the sidelines
the echoes of voices
the same lines
When I got a close fit
they’d disappear out of my life
often without a trace
no explanation, no closure
and the confusion and question-marks would hurt so much
other times time would trickle away
and they’d be irrevocably gone.
Too late to grieve like for a lover lost
but I guess I grieved on the inside instead
the tears I never shed
the dull pain never identified as such
the missing unvalidated.
Never enough to hold me in one place
when I needed to move on
in search of
and exploring it’s counterpart
when it starts to get comfortable
like ants all over
I’m subconsciously urged to move on
by boredom at work
of fear of stagnation.
To stay in a stale job one needs very special colleagues
or a fulfilling life outside of work.
A fulfilling job can equally accommodate
an empty personal life.
Mine was rich on the inside
whilst empty on the outside…
I wanted the inspiring career from day one
to make up for the empty feeling inside and
later to cover up for my lack of success in attracting all I thought I ought to have
I don’t know if it would have made me happy or not
since I never got the experience.
Then I came here
I reckoned I’d moved for every other reason bar love
so I thought why not try that.
Actually, that was an afterthought
It wasn’t so much of a choice
as it was a a road with no turnoffs…
No matter how much it pained me to leave
my friends, the job I loved, the car of my dreams
I knew with every fiber of my being
I was doing the right thing.
And so the next phase of my life began.
For a while all the bits of my crazy life made perfect sense.
It certainly stepped up the feelings of alienation in a way I had not foreseen. I had expected because I was on the right track at last to quickly make new friends. It didn’t happen that way. Spanish turned out to be just as impossible to get the hang of as it was at college, and I found myself surrounded by women of all ages with babies on the brain and not much else; tourists in search of sun and an escape from their everyday life, problems and worries; and men fuelled largely by beer and tacos.
As the friends I had made left one by one and work dried up, the layers of the onion deepened.
My friend Jacquie once said when I was new to Park Gate and feeling low about it, that it takes about a year to make real friends in a new place, and I’ve found that to be my truth too. It’s been almost six years now and here I am, mainly alone, acquaintances aside.
Every other year I encounter someone I feel is close friend material for sure
only to never hear from them again.
I don’t know how much deeper into this onion I have to go
or what I’m supposed to do.
What I know is I’m not aligned with much on this island anymore.
I’m not interested in drinking, smoking, bullshitting and bar-hopping. I’ll never have any interest in babies, kids or the soaps on tv.
The sand and the palmtrees on the beaches does not make up for the absence of other things nature wise. I need personal space and will never be comfortable living the way many Mexicans do, on top of eachother and in and out of eachothers pockets and space all the time. 14000 residents plus tourists on 3 square miles of buildable land is too densely populated for me, with more people arriving every week, and soon every foot of land will be covered by concrete in one form or another. I’d like to live somewhere where alcohol is not the main fuel of the economy.
But I only have to look at my husband of almost 5 years now to know I got the man right! I wouldn’t change him for the world.
So now I know
what that dusk and dawn feeling I’ve always dreaded is.
I feel at peace and easeful, for a little while.
I give the kitties a good brushing because they love it and
passers by smile at me and I find myself smiling back,
right here, right now.
So where do I take it from here
or where does this take me more like?
I don’t know.
Do I care? In the now, no.
If I let myself go to the future, yes definitely.
How much should we allow ourselves to dwell on the future?
I don’t have an answer for that right now.
I don’t want to go there.
Because I am here
and I like to stay in the moment for now.
10 April 2013
(c) Catpaws Cafe, Liz Rosales.