Monday, November 22, 2010


Ship Clouds by Ciurlionis 1906
J called me a gypsy once because she said I had the "disease of moving." (Her exact words)  It isn't so, I argued at the time.  I was settled, I thought.  Yet, as I gaze out on the ocean, I feel that familiar tug.  I like leaving things behind.  I like starting over.  I like moving.  I know I complain about the packing and about having to learn all over again where the markets are or where the post office is, but the fact is that it is kind of fun.  And then getting to live in different apartments or houses, each with its own character in different neighborhoods; well, it's charming, interesting... and I feel as if I am assuming someone else' life for a little while. 

I suppose she is a little bit right.  She herself has lived in the same place for decades, hence her observation.  I keep asking myself why it is that I want to move in the first place and I cannot seem to find the reason, other than maybe I just feel restless, and that is really not even an answer.  It doesn't faze me in the least to pack it all up (or sell it all), plane ticket and passport in hand to some faraway place I've never been and calmly settle there... maybe forever this time?  It seems a bit callous.  What about roots?  What about family?  What about friendship?  Maybe it was because of my own father who left home one day, at the age of 18 (I think), and sailed the seas for years and years.  From Hong Kong, he sailed all over the world: Europe, Hawaii, America.  I admire that about him and maybe I inherited some of that restlessness too.  There is something about the sea that makes us wonder about what lies just a little beyond.  Maybe it is that we cannot comprehend the vastness of the ocean and so need to seek other lands.  Or maybe the water is a little bit hypnotic... perhaps the movement of the water awakens in our deepest subconscious a need for movement and change.  Is it possible that land-locked people prefer to stay put?

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