Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

island unto myself.

It was a romantic idea to quit my job, move all my belongings into a storage unit, and relocate to St. John Virgin Islands, where I didn't have a job or place to call my own, or knew anyone for that matter, other than a single friend. But I did it, despite how crazy or idyllic it seemed, I followed through with a life transition and opportunity that more or less fell in my lap, than it did arrive from my own relentless pursuit of a goal. Because I hadn't weighed the decision enough, I couldn't find a balance that felt natural in my foreign surroundings. I was completely and utterly unattached to anything, and it was only after a couple days that I realized the whole situation didn't feel earned, that I didn't belong as a part of someone else's life, and I again packed my bags and bought my ticket home.

I didn't want to call it a loss, or come back with a tail between my legs, having to explain to all those who had supported me through the logistical stuff, that St.John just didn't suit me. Not that I didn't look longingly out the airplane window as it barreled down the runway in the direction of North, watching the lush and sandy masses shrink into little green dots then disappear, and the clear blue and turquoise waters become an expressionist's image of the sky upturned. It didn't know what side was up anymore, and there was no longer the comfort of having my feet on the ground. I was suspended in limbo, with too many "what ifs" following along on the tailwinds. What was "right for me" was more uncertain now than ever. I wrote in my journal, "I hate you. This is not a poem, but the truth. A waste of imagination." It was self-loathing at its worst. I had no one to blame, but myself.

There is something about islands that is isolating, but also at times self-indulgent. I spend quite a bit of time in Martha's Vineyard in the off-season, and always do I feel a calming acceptance of solitude there. It is a peace that comes when you stare out to the changing sea, knowing that you are removed and on a different rhythm of time. It is a feeling I may or may not have attained in St. John, but my doubts tell me I would have struggled for awhile before I ever did. It was the fear of losing this sense of myself that kept me from staying, and I was reminded of this when I held the smoothest, whitest rock I'd ever seen in my palm, and how perfectly it fit there in my hand. It was assurance that I could stick in my pocket and carry with me, and take out when I questioned my place in the order of things.

I've been writing much more now, more than ever before, and I have been spending a lot of time on the coast, trying to find a new residence and source of income. I've decided to not settle until it feels right to do so. I've recognized that there is this part of me that needs to feel unsettled to create. I thrive on upheaval and the unpredictability of the unknown, but lose sight of myself when I get caught in the too comfortable routine;the mechanical, the mundane. Just as Chan Marshall created her own version of the Bob Dylan's lyrics, ("When God made me, he made me a rambling woman"), I am creating a more in-tune and intuitive version of myself.

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