Thursday, February 25, 2010

Displacement


Going up to the knob field–the view from my office window: early February 2010.

I have returned from my travels a bit unsettled. Disconcerted. Homesick–but for what home? I need to find my sea legs again, my place in my house, my family, my world. Is this a seismic shift at midlife or the effects of too much estrogen in my system after reconnecting with my daughter, my mother and dear women friends from my past and present over the past few weeks? Of thinking about my own past, visiting the places where I have lived, and hearing painful recountings of the makings of memoir in workshops? Is this what happens when we go out into the world on our own, in our own company, and then return again to our familiar? When I did the same last June and came back again here, to our new world, "I was happy to see the barn, happy to enter it," to quote Carolyn Chute from her novel, The Beans of Egypt, Maine.

This time upon return I felt like an alien, even in my own house. Perhaps it was just a shock to my system after being "on" and in the world for several weeks–more like what I perceive to be my authentic self who is not just a wife and a parent. Coming back to a place where I sought refuge for several months in my self-imposed wintry seclusion which soon became an odd form of agoraphobia, and then, just as easily, from which I had escaped. Then learning another beloved animal (the third mammal and pet in a year) had "escaped" on their own, just yesterday–had I, also, flown the coop? The pain of loss, of causing sorrow to others–both animal and human. Guilt and regret and aching sentiment: words I too often live by, that haunt me.

Returning to more snow and cold in Kentucky did not help. I was not happy to see the wintry, desolate landscape. We have had a real winter here for many months and after a while the trailers and the sorrow can compound themselves. [So what exactly was I expecting? Spring and red buds a month ahead of schedule? A chorus of neighbors singing "Oh, Happy Day!" on the roadside as I drove down the road towards our farm? Am I that powerful to effect change?]

Just a note to also say that I will be blogging again, I'm just not sure when. In the meantime, if you've ordered a copy of The Pantry and haven't yet received it, please be assured that you will, very soon.

Now the sun is peaking out, the morning flurries have melted, and the prospect of a "to do" list and picking up my children at school beckons me out of my lair. Ah, routine: there is always some comfort in what must be done.

Best wishes and salutations,

Catherine

3 comments:

WendyGK said...

I know that winter agoraphobia state well. The snow and cold compounded by a memoir writing class I am taking has had similar effects on my menopausal self.

Catherine said...

Wendy, it is truly amazing what that writer's weekend churned up, followed by a visit to my former homeland and various reconnections.

And ain't perimenopause grand? "Totally unprepared am I for things beyond my ken..." (Mmm, that sounds like a great Facebook status posting...)

Thanks for reading ~

Catherine

Erica said...

so glad your back safely!