02 September 2018

Where's my porridge?

griffith park | sunrise | 120mm | may 9, 2018

I haven't written in so long that I'm afraid I'll forget how to do it. I'll forget to forgo my filter of brain to fingertips and wind up with a blank page. But this is something.
I'm eating fig jam on toast at midnight, at first thinking it's hunger keeping me up, or too many thoughts, but upon finishing the toast and getting some words out, I now remember about the coffee I drank after dinner.
I'm licking up crumbs in an unfamiliar kitchen feeling disoriented, because I don't know where Sweet Briar falls on a map of Virginia, I don't know whether the sun will rise out of this window to my right in the morning, I don't know the nearest place I can get avocados, which I'm now realizing I should have picked up at the Whole Foods in Charlottesville when I had the chance. Whole Foods, an hour away! All that I love so close to a town that doesn't show up on my car's navigation.
I did not expect this. I thought I left Whole Foods back where avocado on toast costs $17, topped with EVOO, edible flowers, unicorn tears and a shaman's blessing. Unexpected is what I've come to love, the pleasant surprise of a clear night after a smoky sunset or the serenity of service-free Montana on a stretch of land that elevates loneliness. Hm, not loneliness. Solitude. An introvert's haven. Though, my dream place is more of a nook with a book on a comfy couch, which does not seem to exist in this house. Books, I have plenty, but all these cushions are too soft or hard as a brick, and I'm relating to Goldilocks too much for comfort. Where's my porridge?
This is what my problem is. After two weeks of traveling on the road, camping next to rivers and talking to myself, I expected my mother's place homier. I thought there'd be a nice porch to read or watercolor, and that we'd spend the days catching up in the kitchen over dinner or silently sprawled in the drawing room turning pages of books between sips of tea. But Virginia is hot and humid, not a place you want to drink hot tea. There's not a seat on her porch, because she doesn't have a porch. And they must not like people sitting still here because no matter where my butt lands, it's unhappy. Expectations: not met.
While my butt adjusts, my eyes are fixated up above. Virginia has these vast blue skies with roaring poofy clouds begging to be photographed, and that's something I love about this place. Green rolling hills. Trees for miles. Lightning storms that bring back memories of my mom and I staring out the window. It's the pace in which I'm living here that's upsetting me. On the road, while I ultimately had a gameplan of where I'd end up, I figured out day of which town I was to set up camp, what sites I should see, if any. I want to read or watercolor or talk over dinner because there is a mindfulness that comes with these activities. I'm present. For the last few years, I feel that my relationship with (not just) my mother has slowly drifted from engaging to murky. Muddled with cell-phoned eye-contact, phone calls, tv, emails, cameras. I miss that Sarah who watched a storm with her mother in the backseat of a car, too mesmerized to move from the middle of a parking lot. No phones to record video, no texts for distractions. I miss presently experiencing the world with the people I love.