Tuesday, September 25, 2007

And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

Well, I'd like to think so anyway, but at least the possibility of it being more than just another city, just another country, seems open. I suppose the natural thing to do in such circumstances is to follow-up the teary farewell post with a down-to-earth rumination of the changes one perceives. But aside from being too obvious, I fear it will also prove to be too time-consuming. Instead, I figure, why not try to capture changes as they naturally occur, and capture them in my specialty (ultra-short prose)? We shall see what time and inspiration permits!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The third continent

Let me break the facade again, for some matters from my otherwise boring personal life do affect me sufficiently to be considered worthy of a post. This one entails the occasionally exciting, but usually terrifying prospect that awaits; a move to the third continent, where I am to seek out some sort of destiny. Naturally there is a part of me that wants to pour it all out, but that would descend far too quickly into the sort of maudlin, nostalgic writing that I would feel terribly embarassed about after a few days. Instead, let me just briefly wander around the streets of this town in my head.

I don't know what exactly constitutes one's formative years - I guess the answer depends on what exactly it is that is being formed. No doubt my moral compass and the like were very much a product of the early days (! how old I make myself sound!) in that wonderful, paradoxical land that seems rather distant now. But a lot of what I now consider to be important parts of myself were definitely cultivated in this land, which once seemed so foreign, so impossible to understand and accept. The early days of the move here were the stuff of the recent culture-clash movies; while there were plenty of things I knew about from the open media in my childhood, to see them first hand was more than a little disorienting. Naturally, it created a pining for the homeland I fondly remembered sans flaws of any type. I don't suppose I was the first immigrant who found the early stages sometimes impossibly daunting, and unsurmountable. Tough times, I reflect now, but something I needed to go through to have some of the...hardier characteristics I now claim to possess. What exactly kept me sane in the early days I am now not that sure - there wasn't much in terms of a support structure I could lean on. An inner toughness I didn't realize I had? More likely the gradual chipping away of defensive walls I needlessly constructed, actually.

But now, things seem to have settled down, and what was once the impossible is now fairly close to reality. Not only is there a sense of some kind of comfort here, there are small things that warm the cockles of my heart (I am not foolish enough to try and share them here - they would surely perish under objective scrutiny!). A second homeland? Probably as close to one as I'll know. Again like the cliches in books and movies, I find myself unsure of where exactly I fit in, with the answer most likely being nowhere in particular. In that sense, perhaps another "homeland" will make for an interesting three-way pull for my affection; the task of trying to rationalize then will hopefully prove Herculean enough for me to give up, and instead look at things with a more practical eye.

I suppose the most amusing thing of the situation is that what once played the role of the scary, isolating fortress in the distance now is the opposite; it goes without saying there is a lesson in that for me. And of course, I realize the platitudes are all correct, and that familarity is usually a matter of time. But I hope it also goes without saying that such aphorisms, wise as they are, crumble under the weight of the matter. Actually, surprisingly little time has been spent reflecting on just how much I now take for granted, and what will happen when I find myself transplanted without these things - my nearly foolproof strategy for dealing with change, whose only downside is that it tends to delay thought (and fear) till the last minute, wherein the implosion is near-terrifying! (I am being a little over-dramatic here, but conveniently, I feel like I am more than justified!)

So. Whether the third continent is the last, I cannot of course say. I don't think I have it in me to get throught another move, but one never knows I suppose. But I mustn't fix my sights so far, for this move alone is challenging enough! I deliberately don't want to write a whole lot about my fears right now; normally I do find it to be a useful way of conquering them. But I feel that in this case, the nature of what lies ahead is simply too daunting for a neat categorization and analysis to solve all my problems. A far more successful strategy, I am assuming, is to take a hint from a maligned Doors song*.

There is too much else going on in my mind for this post to contain anything more of substance, so I shall pause for now. My heart is full - yet onward and onward, and onward I go.

(Incidentally, I have toyed with the idea of letting this blog be a place solely for time here in the land down under (can't you hear the thunder, etc.), and have not yet come to a decision. Fear not, gentle reader, you will be notified should I move nests digitally too!)

* Obscurity was very much a product of life and music here.