Sunday, December 9, 2007

Travelogue: Back in Austin

Sorry about the double post on Dad's grave. I posted it in the photo album section here, which doesn't cross-post to my blogger account, then I went to blogger and posted it without telling it not to cross-post here. Doh!

The drive to Austin was relatively uneventful, had a lot of time to think about the triggers that being in various places and seeing various things will tick-off in my mind. That was the most interesting part of the trip--my own restless mind while driving.

The entire day in Austin was a series of mis-cues and failed connections. But that was fine, that gave me a significant amount of time by myself here, which I didn't realize until it happened was something I needed. I used to come to Austin to "re-charge" something, now I realize I don't know what that means.

My connection to here is slipping away, as all connections do. There's nothing enduring and eternal here, just like there's nothing enduring and eternal anywhere, but I realize that in previous trips I had been clinging pretty tightly to that notion. I felt that something about me needed to be here periodically, I used to assert such to anyone who asked, but the truth is that while there are some things that I like to do here which I can't do anywhere else, there's nothing happening here when I visit to me that doesn't happen anywhere.

That is both and at once a comforting and unsettling notion.

I went to The Chili Parlor, my hang-out in town (it was my mailing address in Austin for a number of years), and as I sat there I realized that this connection that I (think I) feel I had to the place was just a notion, a thought I was clinging to in my mind. It's not really there. It's not that I don't enjoy being here, it's just that I notice there's nothing particularly special about being here that distinguishes it from other places.

I have dearly loved friends here whom I very much enjoy being with, but I am with them in the context of our relationship now, in 2007, not because of our connection to the relationship we had when I was an Austinite. I like to go and do Austin things with them, and go to Austin places, but the heart of that joy is being with them, the fact that we're in Austin is not nearly as much of a factor as I used to believe. I am seeing it differently now.

So, I notice that I am more awake here on this trip, less lost in my thoughts, less trying to defend some belief I have about specialness or permanence.

Like I said, both comforting and unsettling.

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