It's been a rough two weeks.
What can I say? First I guess a little background. I moved back to where I was living before Italy after 3 years. There were many reasons, I'm not sure any of it important for my purposes here. What is my purpose here? This has always been the place where I marvel at the world around me. Share that oblivion that swirls up in my head as I try to take it in. I think I can still do that. Well, at any rate, I would like to still do that.
A big chunk of these two weeks has been filled up with homecoming. A strange one though. The joy at seeing great friends again has been riding a wave of distaste for the culture. I hate the traffic. I hyperventilate when I enter the massive supermarkets. Hell, even the aisles of products at the pharmacy send my head spinning. I can't stand it, so I shield my eyes and run out of the store empty handed. I'm hiding in the cocoon of things I can accept. My friend's apartment, my office at work, old project notebooks. I can't stand to look at the world outside, so find myself at a loss for words on the "pilgram" experience.
It's shocking how lost I feel here. Not only in my head, but I have been literally getting lost. I don't remember how to drive through towns that I used to drive through daily. Streets are unfamiliar and memories of where they go are hazy.
And I'm not fully here yet. I have no family, no phone (for the love of all that is good and evil!!!), no furniture, no damn warm clothes... yea, what Steinbeck said about summer in San Francisco is true... making it even harder to acclimate. And easier to alienate myself. This can only lead to darkness.
So, after a distressing two weeks, I found myself driving my commute home. Cursing the rotation of the already boring same four songs on the radio. The tired classics and shallow new releases. But as I topped the pass from the bay into the valley, the red evening light caught my eye from the tops of distant hills. And for the first time since I've been back I saw my home the way I used to round the curves in Northern Italy. For it's amazing beauty. The rolling golden hills, the green scrub, the cool blanket of air. And my pilgram head latched on to this thread of hope. That maybe, once I get over myself, I'll start to see the wonder in the world again. YEA!!! Tiny dances of celebration erupting inside. This can work. All is not lost.