Changes

Well, we’ve moved back to Canada. Even though it was planned when my mom died, near the beginning of the year, to help with my dad’s transition into single life, Covid threw an unexpected wrench in things, and when the possibility recently opened up again, it all happened rather suddenly. We’re in mandatory quarantine, which will last for 14 days from our arrival. This makes getting groceries, furniture, a car, etc challenging and/or impossible. We learn to live with less for a bit and it’s not a bad thing.

It was emotional for me to leave France and especially to leave the Tree. I know that the being I perceived in it could travel with me anywhere. Right here and right now is the first time I call it to me… and it’s not even a calling; it’s just entering my consciousness as I type.

In my mind I’ve been debating sustained sobriety. What it changed in me and whether it was all good. It’s been a blur of activity lately and I lost myself in that for a bit. Then I closed my poetry site and suddenly a sadness pierced through,  which had been lurking I suppose for ages. I spent the first evening silently crying into the dinner I was cooking.

The poetry site is like a drug for me. The only drug I take besides the caffeine in my coffee. Most of the time I enjoy it so much that I feel guilty for it and that makes me wonder if I didn’t have a problem with alcohol, but rather a problem with allowing myself to feel pleasure. Or maybe just a problem with having a constant desire to imaginatively escape reality.

I nearly made up my mind to start drinking again in our new life in Canada. Of course when one decides to start drinking again it’s not a feeling like “let’s get bombed, act like an idiot and then feel like crap all the next day,” it’s more like, “life’s short, why not plan to have that post-quarantine glass of wine with the neighbours, instead of bothering with that awkward social rigamarole of ‘I don’t drink anymore.'”

Booze is crazy expensive here compared to France, and it requires taking a special trip to a liquor store or beer and wine store since, unlike in France, it’s not sold in grocery aisles.

So come to think of it maybe it’s not the best time to take up drinking again after all lol.

So what is making me want to do this? I’ll be honest, and I think I’ve touched on this before: I often feel like I was more societally productive as a drinker.

I’m in some kind of mild depression at the moment and I suppose I have to accept that as understandable, considering we’ve just moved back to the place I last visited only because my mom had died suddenly.

Something cheered me today though: my old dearest friend from the neighbourhood stopped by to chat (from a covid-acceptable distance). Hadn’t seen her in nine years (she was out of country when my mom died). She told me she’d applied for an artists’ residency and succeeded. She will be paid by the government to make art… for no other reason than for arts’ sake.

Her self-confidence and her belief in the importance of creating things, even if they earn no money, no awards and even if the products don’t make sense to others, uplifted my spirits in a quiet sort of way, as did hearing her sweet voice and seeing her familiar face. What would the world be without art, and without real connection? A meaningless place.

When I gave up drinking I experienced a wild creative explosion. Things feel disorganized now because of that. Yet somehow I managed to accomplish a few things that I rarely give myself credit for as well. I really, really keep hanging on to the idea that I am in transition, that I am not done yet, that I am still just beginning to set foot on this journey… and that occasionally, I feel lost.

My mom, intensely artistic soul that she was, would say I was crazy to be so hard on myself. She would begin pointing out all I had done instead of all the things I hadn’t done.

That kind of positive feedback is very rare in my life. Essentially, it’s the voice of compassion. The voice of compassion is the one that keeps us naturally whole, naturally vibrant, naturally on the right path. In not attempting to steer us in a “better” direction, it lets us feel confident enough to realize we are doing the right thing for ourselves, already.

It’s the voice of the Tree.

Anyway, I know I’ve been away from this blog a lot. Thanks so much for being here now. Means a lot to me.

xoxo n/stl

***

Edit 2020-10-22: I published this post then made it private soon after, when it got quite a few immediate views but no likes… yes, still a very shy and self-critical blogger. Now making it public again as I feel it’s a perhaps helpful-to-others key piece of this one lil’ life-adventurer’s story.

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