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In The Gloaming 
27th-Nov-2009 02:25 pm
So for the past couple of days at least, between breaks from unpacking and the need to rest for a few moments, I've been learning how to fine tune my senses to my surroundings. For instance, there is a lot to take in here and my senses are on overload at the moment - and I'm trying to keep still and quiet when my urges want me to go out and run and explore - because there isn't energy sufficient yet to truly go out and play just now. I'm still recovering from the vast amounts of energy it has taken just to get here, and then the energy it has taken to get settled, which is an ongoing process and I'm certain will be for a while. I like keeping busy because it gives me a sense of purpose in the interim that I'm trying to get things figured out. When I slow down or stop I feel enormous pressure forced upon me from a thousand different angles, but it dissipates quickly enough when I remember to reassure myself that everything is okay and I have a beautiful life. It's all part of this drastic life change, and the learning curve for everything is perhaps the most drastic part.

The notion that I feel in many ways like a foreigner in a strange land is unsettling and for as much as I truly enjoy being here, I don't belong to this place yet as I do my beloved south land. At times the realization that I'm two thousand miles from home and everything that ever fit me seamlessly up until last week makes me stand completely still, trying to decide if I need to cry over the death of 'normal' to get some of it out of my system, or if I just need to take those moments and close my eyes, breathe deeply, and then exhale. I seem to be doing that a lot lately, both deliberately and inadvertently. I never know from one minute to the next if this one is a regular minute of a really big one and it is a bit confusing. I'll get it figured out eventually.

In the meantime, I'm relying on my senses. I didn't know as a child how soothing being outside to play can really be. Since I've been here I've relearned that going out under the open sky and walking down a new path that could lead me anywhere and it will all be brand new and different until it becomes familiar is a lot like going out to play used to be. I get to smell the fresh cut grass and the redolent sweetness of the two story tall white oleander just on the other side of my living room window or the citrus trees that seem to be growing everywhere. Here in the foothills of South Mountain there are trees everywhere, and being so close to the foot of the mountain there is a near constant cool and gentle breeze, so the air is never really still and each tree's leaves and branches play a different sound against all of that rushing air. I can hear and feel the crunch of tiny desert rocks groaning beneath my shoes when I stray off the sidewalk and closer to the mountain that shares a boundary with my neighborhood, they're brick red and purple and jagged. Perhaps to the ants they're mountains themselves, but to me they're only the brittle, broken bone fragments of the mountain I now live next door to. Perhaps they're an offering of sorts, I haven't decided yet. I have hours to do that. Always, the hours.

Yesterday on my walk through the neighborhood I stopped and touched the flesh of a giant saguaro cactus, the tall, mammoth, tree sized ones you think of when images of the desert southwest come to mind. I was walking past it and admiring how graceful it managed to stand on the roadside and it occurred to me that I had never really touched one before, so I did. I carefully ran my fingertips along the spines jutting out like two inch long needles, pushing against them at the point and letting them snap back into the airspace they claimed. I pressed my fingers gently where the ribs of the cactus' trunk meet and join, and was surprised to discover that it didn't feel as soft as I imagined it would. It felt rather like a ripe watermelon that yields to pressure and was just as smooth. It made me smile.

Already I miss the rain from back home, but I'm so glad it's not cold here.

This entry was originally posted at http://brad.dreamwidth.org/1694.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
(Deleted comment)
27th-Nov-2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
He's just tickling it for water. :-P
28th-Nov-2009 04:33 am (UTC)
She wanted it, she wanted it bad, and she didn't care WHO she got it from.
28th-Nov-2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
27th-Nov-2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
Is this the first time you've made a major move? (I don't know how far you went for college and I'm too lazy to look at the profile *G*)
28th-Nov-2009 04:34 am (UTC)
It is - before now the furthest I have ever lived from home was 2 hours drive time away. College for me was endless trips to the library and book stores and free lectures to learn the things I needed and wanted to learn for free.
28th-Nov-2009 04:46 am (UTC)
I haven't moved thousands, but I did move 600 miles away when I went to Knoxville, and then I moved another 400 to Indianapolis, so I know how weird and discombobulating it is to up and transfer not only to another state, but another culture. Fortunately, there's practical stuff to focus on for a while - other than unpacking, you have to get a new license, vehicle registration, find a new insurance agent, figure out where to eat and shop, where the libraries are, etc. etc. That'll eat up some of your pondering time. And if you want to chat or ask anything of me, why you can. :-)

(And then of course, there's the continued asshattery of politics to demand attention. Hoo boy.)
27th-Nov-2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
Well you have had the most perfect weather for it. Welcome to Arizona a most beautiful place.
28th-Nov-2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Indeed - so far, I'm really enjoying it.
28th-Nov-2009 08:58 am (UTC) - In The Gloaming
I have always hated going outside- til reading just there how you put it. It's 1am, and I want to go outside ad play.

You'll adapt. I think sooner than you know you will so love it, deeply.
28th-Nov-2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
I told The Mister two years ago when we moved back to Georgia that if we move again, it will be to Arizona. It is a beautiful state. I am certain you will love it. My best friend since I was 17 (and you know THAT is a long time LOL) lives in Bisbee.
28th-Nov-2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Welcome to Arizona, babe. One of the reasons I love where I'm at is because I can walk down the street, see the mountains, a wash just across the street, and cacti everywhere.

It's beautiful. The politics suck, but you'll meet good-hearted people here, the weather's fantastic 9 months out of the year, and the flora are unforgettable. Plus, sunrise and sunset are exquisite no matter what time of year it is.

Sadly, though, rain is forecast for the weekend. :D But I think it's beautiful here even when the storms roll in, so I'm still happy. I hope you will be as well.
28th-Nov-2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
I want to meet a straight man who perceives the world the way you do. Looking at everything with curious eyes. Noticing and enjoying every tiny detail. Then maybe, just maybe, he'll be a good match for me.

It's obvious that you can manage it, Brad. (and there is nothing wrong with a bit of crying). :)
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