03 July 2009

Continuing to Exist

I haven't been so sure about continuing this blog but I've found that I really miss it. So here I am.
Everything is a bit at sixes and sevens here; beyond personal life drama, I am also in the process of moving. I'm off to London for grad school in the fall to study philosophy and public policy - I can't remember whether I've said that before, so please forgive me if I'm repeating myself.

Either way, I'm very excited to be headed back to a country where 23 C counts as a heatwave. Where I sit, in urban Appalachia, we are having the exact same weather with the same lack of air-conditioning and all anyone can talk about is what a cold spring and summer we've had so far. From what I've been reading in the Guardian, the same weather is causing everyone to wilt across the Atlantic.

It's a little unfair of me to make mock. I remember the first summer after I moved here: I couldn't leave the house during the day from June til late September because the heat was overwhelming. I'm still not fully re-acclimatised. It certainly wasn't any warmer than this summer during the last summer I was in London (2003) but I seem to remember spending a lot of time on the 46 bus to get to Hampstead Heath and go swimming and eating unholy amounts of ice cream and thinking that I would sweat to death before the heat broke. However, after six years of being teased over my pusillanimous response to summer heat of the American south, it's hard to resist tittering in a friendly fashion.

I'm going to go spend about six weeks with my parents before I move overseas, which means that I'm in the odd process of dissolving my household now, still more than two months before I'll be heading overseas. The hardest part was finding a new home for my cat. I was there when he was born and brought him home exactly 5 years ago tomorrow, on the fourth of July. Now I'll be dropping him off at his new home in eleven days. Happily, he's going to a friend of mine whom I know to be good to cats. Still, it makes me upset to think about.

The fun part of this is giving away all my stuff. One of my friends (there are a bunch of us going to grad school this fall, including two who are also off to England) was joking about how it had all started to feel like an early Christian community, with everyone selling or giving away all they have. We've been swapping climate appropriate clothes and there's a lot of furniture changing hands. I've been putting together surprise boxes for various friends - filling them up with things that I think the recipient would enjoy having or make good use of. It's so nice not to have to make arrangements to move the furniture. I will easily be able to get myself and my books and clothes and paintings up to my parents' in my car.

The idea of not being here for next year's farm tour or this year's apple season and not being at Our Lady of the Holy Smokes for Easter (no more church choir!) is disturbing. However, whatever melancholia this premature nostalgia brings on is easily dispelled when I remember all things in London I like to do - there are so very many. I'll be back in the same town as some of my friends whom I haven't seen in six years and there will be tops of buses from which to stare out of the windows again and the Tate Modern and lunchtime concerts in the City churches and Primrose Hill and I won't have to drive everywhere. Walking will be easier, too, what with London being on an alluvial plane while I currently live in the mountains. You can't just go out and walk for a couple of hours here as you can there, and I miss it.

It's going to be nice to leave the ranks of America's uninsured too: due to state budget cuts, the mental health clinic I go to is now open only three days a week and they're about to dump patients like me, who aren't in a state of acute mental illness. I'm glad I won't have to figure out how to find appropriate care here next year.

I'm going to stop here for now with two requests:

1) There's no way for me to pretend that wretched things have happened in my personal life and that I am quite unhappy over the state of things. The world hasn't ended, however, and no one has died and I haven't lost my mind, so it will all be okay in the end. I just can't talk about it, so, though I know any enquiries would be friendly ones, please don't ask me about it.

2) I need to find a church in London: C of E, high, pref. Anglo-Catholic, and friendly to women and gay people. If you know of one (or of a way to try and find one - the diocese of London website is distinctly unhelpful), please tell me.

It's nice to be back.


  1. So lovely to have you back.
    (I'm going to email you - tonight if I can!)

  2. Thanks for the welcome back, both of you: I really missed being here.