Home in Bavaria, enjoying a glass of Indiana port. You have to know a great vintner, to get a decent glass of port in Indiana. Lucky us, our old landlord there has a love and a hand for the grapes.
Tom Petty sings a song about wild flowers. He might as well have sung it for me, back in 1999. This flower has a home, and always will, in Central Texas. The magnetic fibers of my iron heart point there, and always will. Going there fills me with joy, and leaving, I cry for a day.
It's only a day, and I bless the shortness of simian memory, for I am easily distracted by the pleasures of new places. At the same time, I realize that my perception of these pleasures are forever flavored by my experiences. Growing up in the heat and dry, my delight in cool green places is endless. My delight in the sea is also endless, however, since meeting the Agean, I'm a bit spoiled to cool, blue and clean. This doesn't mean I won't savor the Atlantic and her earthier delights. I also savor the harvest of the Atlantic, oysters and shrimp and crab, where the Agean is fished clean. The Greeks point and remark at certain fish which used to swim commonly in their waters. Gone now.
So I've been to the place I call home, and returned to my current abode in Bavaria. The goddess Bavaria and I have much in common. We are both broad and bawdy huntresses in the tradition of Artemis, her stolen Roman name Diana. Her likeness exists in the German Hunter's museum in Munich, where we made a pilgrimage. I had my picture taken with her, but one of us was looking much too serious and I chose not to publish it.
Our first week was in Norfolk VA. I could call this place home. The mild weather would allow a simply raucous garden, and the culture is friendly and casual. I would have both sea and mountain close at hand, as hubby and I would dearly love to do. He loves the sea to be near it and travel on it, and I love it to be in it and harvest its riches in fish, shrimp and oysters.
Second week was Austin, Texas. There is no more unique place on the planet, in terms of culture, intellect and interest. I took it for granted, for the first 30-odd (emphasis on the ODD) years of my life. How can one take for granted so much diversity, so much energy, so much texture and creativity, so much absolute ridiculous uniqueness?
I did. I understand now, all too deeply, the error of my ways. Indianapolis taught me first about my loss, in leaving Austin. Chuck should have gotten another job and joined me there. However, we never would have gotten the European experience, which, by the way, parallels the Austin one. This place is home. This place is home. This place is home.
If I click my heels three times, I'll get bruised heels and a lonelier heart. Texas culture is all about lonely hearts, so I fit in even better from afar. Like listening to Alana Davis's version of the Reaper, it's the same song on my own theme.
There are pros and cons to Austin. The pros include my family, my brilliant mother, my aging father and my incredibly talented baby brother. My magical godmother and her equally enchanting family (godbro J and the lovely K met us at every opportunity and we had great big fun) as well as brother KP and my beloved teachers BH and JP (points for trying, JP-sensei). I'd be sure to have work and home within biking range, only way to go in Austex.
I feel the need to be there and Pay It Forward very strongly. The best thing I can do is bring you my teacher, whether you like it or not. It's the best thing that ever happened to me, and I can't go back. It's like drinking port, once you get there, you know the difference between wine and water. If it don't got an Edge, I don't got no use for it. I hated it at first, too. I got to swallow the bitter, to find the sweet. I found it, and I'm not going back.
That flight to Colorado was supposed to be a vacation trip. I cried every mile of the way, and I'm crying now when I think of leaving home, It's another bitter/sweet equation. When I blink away the tears, the solution becomes clear. I am more than willing to spend time in Austin to care for my family, mentor/support my brother and guide their affairs. When that is done, I need to retreat to the mountains where I am at my best.
In Austin, I must negotiate the heat and the juniper pollen. In Glenwood Springs, I spring up at 6:30 or 7am, savor the light and the incredible air (thin as it is, this former asthmatic thrives at 7000 feet) and leap to the day, once I adjust to the altitude. Hikes with the amazing FG were nothing less than illuminating, astounding and enlightening (mostly because of FG's lectures). The Almighty's backyard is my destination when I decide to settle down and do my Life's Work, most likely teaching bodywork and natural history. There might be some budo involved, but only as a hobby. Much as I love it, it comes a cozy third to my great Passions.
Indiana is home to some lovely people, but the culture neither fosters nor tolerates individuality, so, piss off.
I have never been in such a stupid, ignorant, prejudiced (especially the black folks! hellO! not the way to go!) I've never met such closeminded, rude, aggressive, ignorant,careless, angry, WILLFULLY IGNORANT people in my entire life. The exceptions are statistically as opposite the mean as can be (T&LL, RC, and others in the Family) but I can't believe that the rest of you can live that way. Get a fuching clue. Get an education. Get on with your life, and realize that the rest of the World is so much bigger than you and your tiny problems.
Back to VA, there's some hope here. Folks are really nice, so long as you meet them outside of their cars on Hampton Road. They get seafood, they get the military, they have some decent music and culture.
Back in Bavaria, the nights are cool, and the welcome is warm. Where else do the neighbors offer to mow your lawn and have to be bought off with beer?
Life, in its intricate variations, is a treasure to be savoured, in any flavor. I am fortunate enough to try many.
I don't offer judgement, only encouragement to get to the ice cream store and try that pistachio chipotle chocolate scoop you've been curious about.
If all you learn is that you don't like it, you still will have learned something.