November. Moving day for the fairies has passed. Have they found a sacred spot on, in, or around my Gustavus home? Will I find signs of the fantastic in Alaska upon my return? I have found this fall that more questions have arisen than have been answered, yet I can sense that I am growing ever more honest with my own uncertainties and more at ease in embracing the unknown.
There is something spiritual and healing in time spent in quiet reflection and solitude. In my childhood, I played by myself all the time. I have often wondered how it became so painful and lonely in my adolescence and early adult years to spend this kind of time on my own. Has my mind – replete with its anxieties, insecurities, and questions – simply taken over the role my imagination played? Or was this younger version of myself not truly alone? Those countless hours spent in solitude are perhaps better described as passed in the company of my imagination, a place rich in companionship, warmth, and comfort – not all the time, of course, but particularly so during my waking hours.
With the loss of innocence we each experience as we grow into ever increasingly rational, enlightened beings, our connection with our imagination grows ever distant until it disappears altogether. In the absence of this companion, we enter a time of uncertainty, during which we reach out into darkness in attempts to fill this void. In my own lifetime search, I have attempted to fill different social roles accepted by society. With little success in these attempts, I began to seek a community where I would be accepted and celebrated for my idiosyncrasies and for my true self.
Why do so many feel a sense of loss in adulthood? What have we lost that makes us feel lonely that we had when we were kids? Is it connected with our imagination or something entirely different? What are we searching for, and how many of us find it? Is it possible to find it permanently, or is it fleeting? Must we search, find, lose, and begin the process over and again throughout the duration of our lives? Can we find it with another person or persons, or is it a personal, individual journey that must end in happiness or something akin to this sensation with one’s self above all else?
This fall – perhaps, for one of the few times in my life – I have begun to look quite closely at the sustainability of my own life, my present and future happiness, and what kind of life path will best allow me to pursue and discover these truths. Limbo and anonymity can be healing vicissitudes at certain times in one’s life. In my absence from Alaska and amidst great changes in my personal life, I find myself treading water in these realms. At the moment, I sit between limbo and anonymity while simultaneously being embraced by family, my sister and her girlfriend. We sit in a perfect metaphor for the adult search for acceptance – a Seattle coffee shop. Mood music plays in the background, the kind of music and decibel level that can assist one in transcending the white noise of people talking and movement within and without the space, that can be noticed in the foreground and or sent to the background and assist in one’s ability to concentrate on deeper exercises. We are all separate but connected in our search for a brief respite from anonymity.
It is comforting to sit in the company of so many strangers and even more comforting sitting across a small table from my family annex in the Pacific Northwest. This is the most I have been able to successfully train my mind to concentrate on the written word in weeks.
Perhaps, my body and mind have reached a temporary homeostasis and equilibrium with the events of the past month that I am able to begin processing and reflecting on my own self-journey. It is also interesting to think that in a week’s time I will be traveling via ferry en route to Alaska, traveling along a sacred, historic route – the Inside Passage – another term rife with metaphor that I will have to explore more thoroughly at a later time. For now, I am thankful to be in the grey Pacific Northwest with my sister’s hemp-clad feet on the chair beside me, recently emptied Victrola coffee mugs adjacent to my computer on the table, and damp, dying autumn leaves being ground into the pavement and sequestered soil around this emerald city.