Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dust settled, now wiping it off.

Clearing throat. Well, well, it's been awhile. We're in Iowa and my new friend Jennifer's blog has inspired me to get back to it. To recording this time in our lives. It's hard, it's hopeful, and mostly it's busy. Jonathan's in the Writer's Workshop, I've started my private practice and Eleanor is spending three, sometimes four, days a week with Louise (a lovely caregiver) and five other little ones. We're all transitioning, moving into the unknown and taking it as it comes.

I'll be honest. I never expected to end up in Iowa. It never occurred to me, not at all, never. Then Jonathan was applying to Writing programs (just now I got off of the phone with him and he was telling me all about his story that "went-up" and was work-shopped today and some kind of politics involved) and Iowa is one of the, if not the best, depending on who you ask. And even though I know more about the inception of the program I'm still confused as to why it happened or exists in Iowa. Now I'm sure native Iowans can tell me so many reasons to the query "Why Iowa?", and Iowa City is a good enough place. It's been kind to me and to my family (well other than the fact that we've had three bikes stolen by drunkards), but I'm struggling with missing Athens these days. And when I compare Athens to Iowa City there is a palpable emptiness.

Athens, Georgia was my first real home. It was more of a home to me than my childhood home, which was more my mom and step-dad's home. It was way more of a home than any home I had in college, or even after that. Once I tried really hard to make a home in Los Angeles and my good friend Judy told me, "you're playing house". She was right. I "played" a lot in LA, and LA was no home, not for me. I loved my community in Fairbanks, Alaska, but still, too far and too damn cold to be a home for me for long. So after meeting and falling in love with Jonathan, I went back with him to Georgia.

He always said that the South gets into your pores and it sure did mine. I fell in love with the South, for reasons that words only flirt with. For the honey-soaked air that hangs in early June, for the florid Spring (which is actually March and April in the South), for the complexity of social dynamics, the hanging on to agrarian time, the cabin in the woods where our baby was born, where we were married, where we burned into the night. For our good friends and their earthiness, their anchors, and idiosynchrocies. It's the first place that I've ever thought of returning to. And those thoughts are often and luxurious these days. While living in Athens many people said that Athens has a way of pulling people back in. At the time I thought of that as some sort of defect, like a developmental paralysis or an old habit. These days I see it as a wide net, cast out time and time again, bringing it's people home. Catch me I say.


Craig said...

i am so happy to see that you are blogging again, that you are sharing your beautiful words and thoughts. thank you, janelle. i know the taste of homesickness, though i'm not yet sure where it is i'm longing for, personally. however, a mystery move may be on the horizon (nearer than farther... eeeeek!) love and joy to you during this season.

jlbee said...

damn, i think craig was using my computer last and i was logged in as him. it's jen b. that last comment was me. :)