strange math

I’m in Boulder, Colorado.

I’ve been deferring that declaration; hesitant only because not even I know what that means.

There are certainly known variables – like that I’m broke, that I love my job and the people with whom I work, and that there is hardly a healthier place in the States for me than this sunny and snowy little town – that are easy enough to factor in and out of the equation. Less quantifiable, is the feeling that I’m on vacation; roaming around Disneyland, waiting in lines for rides with bags of goodies and big eyes; seeing (and enjoying) but not quite believing and having a sneaking feeling that while I’ve got my hands up in the air, Time is pick-pocketing me from behind. But since the last few months spanned years in memories, I guess I have some to spare and won’t fret over a little lost change.

And I am happy. I know. It’s crazy. And if I spin around in my head and catch the shadow running, I can see that I feel guilty for feeling happy here – which is plainly ridiculous (right?). Don’t worry. Half of my happiness is rooted in the fact that I AM on vacation. That’s another constant for the equation: even if my “path” treads occasionally through it, I still see no potential for a long term commitment to this continent. Actually, it’s exactly because I AM engaged to a lifelong pilgrimage that it’s so easy (now) for me to flirt with and court this country.

So I’m here. And, (turning around real fast; watching it flee)… happy. In my office, I’m surrounded by an inspiring community of people who share my travel history, living ethic, and personal mission statement. After work, I have salsa, break dancing, (new) art classes and I just signed up to volunteer with three different local community outreach programs. At home, I have a black lab who smothers me with kisses from feet to face every time I walk through the door and barks and moans in anticipation of the “w” word (which excites me equally). And only in Boulder do the clouds graciously dump six inches of snow and then quickly move along and make way for blue skies and sunshine to do that thing where they make the whole world glitter and glow.

I guess there’s always a chance I’m fooling myself. Maybe, at the core, I’m miserable and just wearing a faux coat of luxurious delusion. Or maybe I really have just turned a corner and found that the calm confidence of knowing I’m always on my way again to another side trumps my old need to have a fire chase me there. I’ve heard that accumulations of experience/years can do that kind of thing to a person.

France to Senegal to India to Colorado; I wonder if it’s the leapfrogging of extremes that’s leveling my experiences of reality all to the same shade of gray? I think I get it now, why the wise men all hang out in caves. It’s not indifference. It’s acceptance and it’s faith. It’s not that it doesn’t matter. It’s that it already makes sense. And it’s not about the numbers or even isolating the variables; it’s simply knowing the equation exists. And maybe that’s a clue to the mystery of how I always did so well in math, but never learned a single solid thing? If I’ve lost you, don’t worry; I think I’ve lost myself as well. But for what else are Sunday evenings other than long diddle-doddling rambles as the above?

*****

Thank you for all the sweet letters and notes regarding Hanley; the shared soft words and stories all helped in letting the peace settle in.
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