The Writing

26 June, 2011

l'été est arrivé

So I'm reading my Yoga Journal this afternoon, after having done a little yoga, waiting for the korma to do its thing in the slow cooker (customarily, we say that it's cooking), and I came across an article on the most yoga-friendly cities in the US. To my total non-shock, Boulder was on the list. There was a little article about the town, the yoga it offers, its general population. And there were pictures. And I recognized those places. I recognized Pearl Street and the new-to-me-but-old-now renovations, the rock-bridge going up the middle of the street.

And I surprised myself. Had a little  tears-prickling-behind my eyes feeling, and an acute pain in my chest. Embarrassing, gods, I don't cry; I have a little chip of ice where my heart should be, and it pushes slush through my veins. Ask my students. They know. But seriously. I was homesick. Still. After damn near 7 years here, I miss there.

I never reckoned, as a child of the Air Force's cruel whims, to get attached to a place. We never lived in one more than 3 years until I was 12. I spent high school in the same town, and my parents still live there; but my home, the place I chose to go and spend 13 years of my life, is Boulder. 20-odd square miles surrounded by reality. Oz. Berkeley with fewer Californians (but only barely). Expensive little town, with high taxes voted in by people with the money to preserve their open spaces and their zoning laws. Well. Expensive by Colorado standards; the OC has violently readjusted my notions of cost and value. Pedestrian and bike friendly. Working public transportation. Pine trees and oak and maple and the foothills and the canyons. And winter. Wind. Snow. Sometimes thunder while the snow falls. The air is dry and thin, although wetter than a lot of places along the front range. The sun is out most days, sometimes brittle and cold, sometimes too close and too hot. And the mountains--gods, the mountains. Right. There.

I planned to love SoCal. I did. I came out here determined to want to live here forever and mourn bitterly when we moved away. I planned to love the sea, the sand, the everything except the traffic and how bad could that really be, anyway? Hell, baking would be normal again! Water would boil at the right temperature! And no scraping the car in the winter.

Okay. That last thing is pretty cool. There are a lot of good things about living in greater Los Angeles. I can, on a good day, make a list. But it's not Boulder. And those things can't make up for what's missing.

One of the things I miss about LJ is the what's-playing-now feature, like the mood thingie, only cooler. My mood is generally evident from my prose. But my music! Not so much.

So in the vein of missing that feature, what's playing now is Amorphis, "My Kantele," the version off Magic and Mayhem. It's about how people who say the kantele (which is an instrument, kinda like a guitar and a dulcimer had a transporter accident) was made by the gods, fashioned out of the great pike's bones and guts, are liars. The kantele is sorrow. It is grief. It is wounds and suffering. It's a little more intense a sorrow than homesickness. But the point is--the kantele is a Finnish instrument, and the grimness of the song comes from a people shaped by a land with a thousand lakes, scraped out by glaciers; a place that sees a lot of winter, and long summer days. It's a song about the shape and stamp place leaves in a person's soul.

Gods, I want to go home.