I redesigned my website. Did you notice?
Well, not redesigned exactly, but changed the images, changed some of the organization. I’m also updating the pages.
I suppose it’s because I feel as though I’ve crossed yet another threshold. And now I seem to have arrived somewhere, although I’m not sure where yet. It feels stable, it feels secure, although after the last few years, I don’t quite trust security. After all, we’re on a planet hurtling through space, orbiting around a sun that is itself hurtling through space. Solid ground is an illusion.
But at the moment, the illusion feels rather nice, and I think I’ll believe in it for a while . . .
I spent this summer traveling: in June I went to Budapest, in July I went to Readercon and then to teach at the Stonecoast MFA Program residency. In August, I went to Los Angeles and San Francisco. At some point, I moved into a new apartment, and it sat furnished but undecorated for most of the summer while I crossed over the Atlantic and said hello to the Pacific. I love traveling, and I love living out of a suitcase. But it feels nice to be in my own apartment, which is already almost decorated. It feels nice to have my own furniture, and my clothes in the closet. It feels nice to know where all the dishes are.
We have a tendency to think that whatever we’re living through at the moment will continue forever: if we’re in crisis, we think we’ll always be in crisis. If we’re in a period of stability, we think the floor is solid and will never start shaking and cracking under us. But life isn’t like that, is it? It has its tides, just as the sea does. It’s a continual process of crossing thresholds and entering new rooms. The writer Elizabeth Gilbert said something recently that has stuck with me: she said, we are told to find balance in life, but finding balance means that most of the time, we’re off balance. We only ever achieve balance once in a while. That perfect equilibrium is always elusive, always dependent on our leaning first one way, then the other.
And honestly, we have to lean, because that’s the only way to dance. I think, here, of a ballerina: she maintains the illusion of balance, that perfect en pointe, but she’s only ever balanced for a little while. Otherwise, she’s always in motion, always leaping and turning. As we are. As is this entire planet, spinning through space.
I don’t know where I am yet, but so far I like it here. It feels as though there’s a lot of work for me to do, and of course not enough time to do it in, because when is there ever? But for now, there’s a floor under my feet, and a soft bed, and food in the refrigerator. I’m going to put pictures up on the walls, and paint the cabinets. I’m going to see what work I can do that is worthwhile. Because in the end, that’s what matters. I’m sure there will be more thresholds in my future, more leaping through space. But for now, this feels nice. I think I’ll stay . . .
The new images on my website are photographs I took at a nature conservancy near Concord, Massachusetts. It’s a wetland, and when I visited, the lotuses were blooming — acres of them. They were like sunshine on the water, under a cloudy sky . . . And the photo above is of me among the cattails. I’m not short, I assure you. But the cattails were very tall.