Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dispatch from Abroad

Greetings from the land of the bizarro keyboard. It's been a year since I've typed on one of these, and it shows. A tutorial: y and z are switched. The @ symbol is hidden on the 'l' key and only accessible by hitting the alt key simultaneously. Then there's the beautiful ü, ö, ä with their little follow-the-dancing balls breaking up the monotony of the normal asdf jkl;. It's more like asdf jklö. Even these (non)sense combinations are an order of sorts. A discipline which fingers forget and remember again just long enough to forget. A constant deja vu.


And just the same, it's amazing to me how much knowledge is stuck inside of me, leaping to the surface as if it were there all the time (it was). Yesterday we had some friends over and they were talking about the moving sidewalks in the Paris underground. Instead of the conveyor-belt technology used in most airports, they are apparently comprised of many cylinders which propel you the minute you step on them. There are two lanes- slow and fast, and the fast one accelerates you at impressive speed. Our friends said that no matter how prepared you are for it mentally, it still comes as a physical surprise. Something about all those small cylinders causing such momentum seems as though it can't be true.

I wish that for the three years I lived here, I had kept a blog. I can only imagine what things I had said as I return to the thoughts, walking down the streets. It would be interesting to see the persistence of perception or the slight kant as if walking up a slight incline. Today, here. Three years, a decade from now, head cocked a little to the side.


Before leaving home, my husband and I both had a feeling we did not want to leave. We weren't ready to come. There's always so much in motion that it's hard to feel like it's possible (even preferable?) to leave it, stop-motion. Perhaps we crave a more episodic handling of our exposition. This is the point in the plot where we wind things up. Although we live in simultaneousness as a point of being (breathing AND looking AND thinking AND biting nails), our minds trick us into thinking that it is not so. Focus and selection is an amazing coping skill.

Yet when we arrived, our arrival was immediate. Here is our bank. There is where I always bought the plums (much better than the stand right next to it) and money is money, not some computation of this is how much? (If you've looked at the value of the Euro recently, you'll know how dangerous of an automatism this is!)

At the same time, life at home is whole and constant, even without us this period of time. The fruit flies that swarm around half-eaten bananas here are the same that are digesting our compost at home. The process (though unseeable: when will our compost finally yield DIRT, for God's sakes?) is ongoing.


I can tell you where I am now because I do this blog anonymously. Therefore I am not worried that you will go to my house, foil my security system and steal my dirt. I can tell you where I am, but never who I am. That's the riddle that keeps life rolling forward.

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