Apr 10, 2005

The arrival of the soul

Native Americans say that it is bad for the body to travel too fast for the soul can't keep up. And it did take me a whole week, after I got home from my vacation, to truly feel like I had finally come home.

I have spent 3 weeks in California, in the Bay area, staying with an old friend about 45 minute's drive from San Franciso. I hadn't seen my friend in 15 years, but it was as if no time had passed when I saw her again. I had a wonderful stay! 3 weeks felt like 3 months, and I thoroughly relaxed. Coming home did not give me the same feeling of joy as I usually get.

There were a couple of reasons for me to be struggling with feeling "home":

  • I am not yet done with grieving for my cat. I still wish I could hold her again. Waiting for me in my mail was the pick-up slip for Sammy's ashes.

    She haunted me when I got back. I saw her walking in the hall, I heard her scratching in her litter box. These "hauntings" disappeared once I got her urn placed in the spot of the window sill where she liked to sit and watch the outside world. I installed my new printer and tested its photo capabilities by printing one of Sammy, and that too sits in the window sill.

  • I came home to a messy home, and I do wish my home were better kept. (Working on that.) A computer problem, forcing me to reinstall a few things, has made me finally tackle a stack of stuff that's been sitting for ages. Which is just as well; I do need to get rid of stuff.

    On my vacation, I saw this sign on someone's bathroom mirror: "The more I know, the less I need." One interpretation is that spiritual knowledge reduces the need for material things. I don't think that's the only interpretation but I have to muse on this before I can elaborate. In the meantime, the Zen concept of not owning too many things or they will own you, is quite appropriate.

  • There is so much on offer in America, including my preference in religion, and groups, activities and things I can't find here in Norway – at least not as obviously. So I came home to an unexpected boredom, job included. Boredome is a sign of a need of change, so this is something to address.

So is all wrong and bad? Heavens, no! I also feel like I have so many possibilities and options, and that it just takes focus and some courage to make things happen. But I'm still not sure of what I want to be when I grow up.

While on vacation, I was asked by a reverend where my heart was. Honestly, I have no idea. And that is the challenge and the struggle.

I'm feeling a little bit like I did on my first day in California: I was so weary from travelling that nothing my friend suggested for dinner sounded agreeable. I apologized for being a difficult guest. As it turned out, I was fine within a couple of days, so it was just travel fatigue. So once I get back into the proper routine of things here, perhaps finding out what I can do to make my life here more like what I want, I will be more agreeable again.

All I know is, it's time for a change. Time to figure out where my body and soul should really be. In one sense, I'm "homesick." I am, after all, a native of California.

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