Friday, January 21, 2005

Postscript: Re-entry (Nicole)

Re-entry has been bizarre. I slept 16 hours last night and woke up bleary and off balance. My sinuses are a mess and I think I pushed the body a little too hard...

I want to write write write, before this self I recovered disappears into the fog of memory. The house is so spacious. There are plants and animals and all my books and music much foreign. I folded laundry today and wondered at why I have all these pieces of fabric when I lived so well out of a single bag for two weeks. But then, I can hardly show up to class as I did on the boat, clothes crusted with the grime of the days before. Everyone smells perfumed and the concrete and automobiles everywhere are disconcerting. News of the war and famine and Tsunami survival are pervasive...and the real world in my absence did not dissolve, but no more did it improve...

It is cold, so cold here, and it feels stark and lonely without the camaraderie of the crew and the constant bustling and bickering. It is a long road ahead, but I am somehow not overly burdened at the thought. Some part at the center of me has re-aligned itself, some part that was thirsty and in need of care has been nurtured and made whole again, and it puts perspective into the months ahead. There is growing up to be done, tasks to finish with integrity, bonds to be cast off, loose ends to be made fast so that I am free to proceed on my path as whim dictates.

But I cannot say that it is good to be home because I am no more at home than I was five days ago, or three.

Many of those things that took on preternatural significance in the last semester (at which time they became unbearably overwhelming) have been reduced to their appropriate stature. I will get work I love or I won’t, I will get honors or I won’t, I will set sail in five months time, or I won’t, but in any case, I will still be here, intact, able to adjust, capable of growth, stumbling across humor, appreciating the stark raving madness of the world in all its chaos and glory. This is life, and I’ll take it, as much as this brief full moment can give, I’ll take it.