"Let me know when you reach home" is an expression of love and fear that I learned in Trinidad, a place where teenagers fuelled by alcohol, exhaustion and ego crashed their cars and died with unrelenting frequency. Is it fear, or resignation? I suppose the worst kind of nightmare is the one you know will eventually come true.
If you know what the hipster PDA is, if the sight of fresh index cards and a small bulldog clip sends a frisson of potential productivity through your fingertips - well we probably read the same six blogs back in the day. That instinct, that with the right pen and the right paper and the right system and just-so conditions and a can-do attitude you can power through whatever personal, creative or professional responsibilities loom, that instinct comes from a desire for wish fulfilment. I wish to have some ability to control my circumstances; I wish to draw a neat and definitive line between my actions and my outcomes; I wish to succeed because of the system and not despite it.
Whether because of weather or tradition we are entering a time of slowness and contemplation. It is not "fine" to need to rest and reflect; it is just a need. We so often qualify needs; we so often apply justificatory adjectives to things that keep us alive. We "deserve", we "earned", we're "allowed" when in fact we must.
Perhaps you will give thanks this week and perhaps you will self-consciously acknowledge the people whose land you're on and perhaps for you it is a day of mourning and perhaps you will opt-out entirely and perhaps none of this means anything at all, because the world is large and we are small.
Some slow evenings when the light hangs late and stubborn in the sky,
gives itself up to darkness slowly and deliberately, slow cloud after slow cloud,
slowness enters me like something familiar,
and it feels like going home.
It’s all there in the disappearing light:
all the evenings of slow sky and slow loving, slow boats on sluggish bayous;
the thick-middled trees with the slow-sounding names—oak, mimosa, pecan, magnolia;
the slow tree sap that sticks in your hair when you lie with the trees;
—from Going Home: New Orleans by Sheryl St. Germain