I love cemeteries. I love walking in them… they feel safe and comfortable to me. They are places for memories and moments of peace. There is a river through Oconee Hill Cemetery, and as an attendant in a truck informed me, they don’t allow photographs. Very insightful.
I’ve been drifting this year.
It has not been comfortable.
I love where I live, but I’ve been snatching at chances to get out of town like they’re my last breath. I’ve gone into every trip hoping the new vistas would trigger some revelation that would put my whole crappy year into perspective. It’s been a bad one, folks. I confronted my childhood abuser, and in doing so, distanced myself from a whole bunch of people I genuinely love. It was empowering to estrange myself from the person who hurt me, but life and generations are a river. My guess (and I really don’t know for sure) is that the person who hurt me was hurt by someone else. I could not separate myself from him without hurting the people who are connected to both of us. There’s no part of the river that isn’t affected by every other part, through ripples and currents.
So to cope, I hold myself still. Traveling is a way to do this. You’re static, the observer. Especially if you’re as big a camera-happy tourist as I am. With your camera, you’re removed by a step; don’t mind me, I’m just documenting. And what are cartoons but a camera? Mine reduces the world to simple lines, but this year I’ve added innumerable shades of gray.
I’ll be honest; the grays are my favorite part. The shadows overlap, the ripples touch each other; the layers of mood, of diluted object, give even the empty spaces reason and significance. There are a lot of places in which we can exist.
Did I exist more vividly, in Georgia? In Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego? I’d been waiting to, and each time I’ve come home and left my suitcase unpacked for a disappointed day, like I’m not ready to accept that this trip didn’t change my life. Nope; it still needs tending.
I still have work to do.