I'm sitting in my new apartment listening to the whir of the fan beside me. I haven't yet switched on my music, but am taking a moment to feel the stillness and to have a drink of water. This is where I'll spend (most likely) the next two years, while attending grad school. I'd like to think it will grow on me, become a place of respite and serenity, but right now all it feels is quiet and somewhat empty. Oh, it looks homey enough, but that's just window dressing. I know better. I know what's missing. At the very least I hope the quiet and the empty will turn to the fecund and will help me get focused, centered, and to become more productive. There is plenty of space for yoga, that's for certain. And I purposely did not get cable (plus, the television gets absolutely no reception here-- though, thankfully, the cell phone does) so I hope I will not permit myself to become too absorbed in the pointless or overly distracting. There is work to be done and this is the place I must do it.
I admit I am rather envious of the new apartment that B has moved into. Actually, I'm not at all envious of the apartment, but the neighborhood. It is quirky and artsy and cute on the one hand, and a little old and run down in sections on the other, so it feels like a real neighborhood with actual people. There's a lady down the street that looks so old you are impressed she stands upright and there's a smattering of giant sunflowers with sloping spines and drooping heads. The landlord and his daughter are learning to speak Spanish and Chinese, and there are people of all colors there, which, given that Oregon is perhaps the whitest state in the union, I find comforting. It's something I miss about the SF Bay Area. I liked the old neighborhood I was living in-- there was plenty to do all within walking distance, but I like his new neighborhood. It feels as though there is a community actively cultivating something there, not a pre-planned community like you might find in NW Portland. Anyway, I think he'll like it there, too, and that makes me happy. His neighbor is also a classmate-on-the-way-to-becoming-a-friend-of-mine and she's really cool and interesting, so that's good too. It's important to have good people in close proximity, even if all you do is say hello from across the courtyard. It's an energy thing, I guess.
So, I'm off to Buster-proof the apartment (Minou has never been a problem in this regard, too uncoordinated?), beginning with the bookshelves, which will also house some sculpture and pottery. I have no clean dishes, though everything is currently in their respective cabinets (I needed to know where things were going to fit, before I could be bothered to wash off the packing newsprint). I have art to hang, if it's not too late to be hammering and drilling, and myriad other things to organize, straighten, or find homes for. I haven't yet brought myself to make tea here. It is one of the many things I enjoyed with B and it will take time to readjust to the solo version again. The cats are out at the old place, enjoying one of their last nights of freedom, before their only access to the outside is the view from any number of windows. I feel terribly guilty about this. I've never had indoor only cats... I did manage to put the cat hammock in the window of what I hope will become my art nook. That is meant to make the cats feel welcome and, strangely, to encourage me to actually make some art in that area of the apartment.
So, this is home, as much as anything can feel like home these days. It's where all of my things are, though everything has been rearranged. I suppose I'd better get used to it. On a completely unrelated note, I am pleased to link to another friend's new blog: Tricia in Ethiopia, also listed at right. She hasn't written anything yet, but will be spending the next year in Ethiopia teaching children. She mentioned she was thinking about keeping a blog, to give friends and family information and updates about her life there and what she was experiencing, as it occurred. I encouraged her to do so (as I'm sure did others) and told her I would check it often and link to it from mine. So, hopefully we'll all get to see what is going on from her vantage point on the continent of Africa. It's not like you'll hear much about it on the news. Hell, we're at war and all anyone seems to report on is Jon freaking Benet. Ugh. My personal motto may have to become "Expatriate in 2008" depending on how the next year or so unfolds. I wish you all well. Go outside and do something beautiful.