Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm one of those rare modern Americans who has a home.
It's Austin, Texas, if you ask my mother, who was there (after a fashion) at the time.

I'm doubly lucky in that my home is one national leaders have falsely claimed as their own, to gain the imperative of respect. If you count luck as the Dutch do, Austin is lucky. We are the Amsterdam of the Southwest US.

I can say "we" again.

While I was in Austin last March, I asked a veteran in my profession (SI) what it was like to be in a town which respected, and supported, what she did.

She smiled, said it was a great joy and a great honor.
You know, we never needed to say anything... I felt it in her, and she felt it in me.
I was on the verge of my homesick tears, and she comforted me, in a very grounding, structural way.

Since then, every time I have gotten a session (damn few, due to my remote location!), I have gotten up ready to "to go" in a place slow to orient, evolve and accept. I can only hammer one will at a time to what I do... and if I don't have Chuck's job to give me time and space, I don't have time to beat my way through the brush. Stuck in Army limbo, it's hard to make a commitment, except to the Army. And that's not going to happen. Too many broken bodies, broken lives, too little care, too little time, too little too late, too many demands on folks considered in this administration an underclass, rewarded with capital letters and rotting rehabilitation facilities... too much heartbreak.

I've lost my patience, and am not willing to lose my mind, break my fingers and my will against a multitude of stubbornnesses and stupidities.
The Oberpfalzers like to watch everything for years, before they give it a try. They won't have time to wait, with me. The very nature of my existence here is ephemeral, as far as they are concerned. And they will miss what I have been taught, because they were too slow to try it.

I've learned the language, I've learned to appreciate the culture, there are things I love, and things I can't get. I would stay, but the environment is not pro-business, and the language, bureaucracy and culture are deeply opaque. I have gone in further than most non-natives, and can converse in a limited fashion. I hate the limits, though. I suppose I would hate them, anywhere.

The Army is, if anything, slower and more stubborn as an organization. Individuals who discover the benefit, like the lieutenant I saw today, putting her body together 10 months after the birth of her first child and made a passing grade on her PT test for the first time, are quick adapters. The rheumatologist who came to me with jaw problems for herself, and sends me the most interesting clients, is another quick adapter. Her efforts to bring SI work into wider exposure have been beautiful and ambitious. However, preaching to stones is preaching to stones. I cannot bring people into responsibility. I can just prod them upright...

So when this same veteran put out the call for professionals in her area at a new holistic health center in Austin, I sent a small sad note that I wish I could respond. She said, they'd be glad to have me.

I talked to my husband, who has not been extended in Germany, by a penny-pinching administration.
He encouraged me, and knows I've been suppressing my homesickness for our good, and his career, for years now.

He is willing to do what it takes, to support what it is I am here to do.
This is what started the whole odyssey.

So I find myself back at the beginning of the maze, possibly with a lot of cheese.
As long as we're not starving, I'll hope it's not Velveeta.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Hi Delicate Flower Of Heaven,

I'm afraid you may find re-entry shock a far greater pain than the culture shock you had when you left Texas. Just make sure to keep us on speed dial, and round trip tickets from AUS to DTW start at $225. Come for beer, snow, budo and commiserating. After so long in Japan, no place really feels like home except a dojo filled with friends.

Your friend,
Peter