This is a piece I wrote a very long time ago, while living in Madison, Wisconsin. My new start every day? To dig out some of the old stuff I have written and see if I can rework it or use it in any of my present writing projects. I hope you enjoy. Perhaps it will bring up some memories of your own.
Vancouver: I miss the rain the most and what it does to the sky at dusk. When the clouds are bruised against the Marc Chagall blue of the mountains mingled with sky. I’ve never seen it anywhere else. It belongs to the terrain in the same way the damp mossiness of the mountains do with their green-tinkling-silver trees.
Wisconsin is more quietly beautiful. It does not dress up and play with every shade and color of makeup and garb. Wisconsin is like a beautiful woman free of pretension. I love it here. I love it that I am regularly surprised by another facet of beauty, shyly glimmering.
I’ve lived away from Vancouver for more than four years, and it is only a place of moist memories now. I won’t go back to live again. Even so, I am struck by the magnitude of that region’s beauty. My evolution, however, began after I left.
I knew great unhappiness there. I was cloistered, socked-in by clouds. There was no way out. As soon as I got past the fog-shrouded mountains, there was the endless sea merging into murderous sky. There was nowhere to go. In this rain forest, I grew an ever thickening black bark and sharp, sturdy needles. I felt trapped by obligations and expectations, mostly self-imposed; also by the way I had defined myself and how others came to see me in that light, too.
And so I had to leave that paradise. Evolution does not occur in stagnancy. Some people called it running away, but I’ve always known it was not that at all. I left because it was no longer viable for me to sit in my blustery harbor watching the waves. Sitting, endlessly rocking, going nowhere.
I left friends behind. Not all, but many. They were so intertwined with my old life that I needed to prune. I still think of them and feel sad. I have never wanted to be trite about friendship. I’ve left them to flourish on their own. It is my loss, but I felt it necessary.
Failed friendships, a failed marriage, failed dreams - why must any of these things be called a failure? Evolution is not a failure. I have regrets, of course. My sadness sometimes reaches the darkest, coldest waters of the ocean. But my mistakes were made out of the longing of my soul trying to find a home. My sins have never been malicious, though they have hurt others. My unconsciousness knew the inevitability of my mistakes long before their consequences took root. And still it pushed me forward.