Into fall

When cars stop at crosswalks with music playing loud, I always watch as people find the beat and walk in rhythm, sometimes with mild embarrassment and sometimes unabashed joy. My days here have their rhythm too and I easily fall into it. I think we all look for that beat, whether it's our own or one imposed on us.

When I got back from vacation, I promised to cling to the rhythmless days. I saw truths transmitted through the looseness of travel that normal routine muffles. Still now, weeks after I'm back, I'm clinging to the early mornings of that time zone and resisting that familiar, numbing rhythm. I leave the TV off and buy more books, sticking with resolutions I made.

And every day, I fight a quiet war against prevailing moods and manners, against stresses that, in a foreign place, seemed wholly manufactured. But routine really is a compelling beat. I feel myself gravitating towards it again, finding ways to move my body to it, and I start to relax and enjoy its familiar cadence.

Transitions after holidays pit me against myself. My free-wheeling self against the one that loves to find that daily groove. The lure of practiced reactions and routines in the face of vacation's romantic mutiny.

And every day back, doubt builds: I start to believe that those truths transmitted while I was away were but idle dreams in an unhinged geography. That this rhythm is really closer to the truth and something I ought not to fight.

Still, too, every day the lingering mutiny: That life could be more than this simple rhythm that starts so languid but eventually constricts. That what I thought there, so clearly, by the sea was true.

And I try not to struggle too much while all of this works itself out inside of me. I look for compromises, ways of bringing the two closer together. Ways of being patient and taking it by the small decisions and not the sweeping gestures.

This week, I'm watching the seasons shift and hoping I can latch onto fall's trajectory, using it to pull me onto a different course, a better way of being back in my familiar place.

22 comments:

  1. I keep coming back to re-read this post today. I love the mood. You write so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Alice! This makes me happy :)

      Delete
  2. I totally am feeling that now too, just back from a holiday home and trying to adjust to getting back into the grip of university. You somehow manage to write about it so lyrically! Make me feel a bit better about the conflict ;) Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sera! I hope you feel better-adjusted (or not!) soon!

      Delete
  3. Your post-travel feeling is familiar to me. I find my shifts in behavior are never as grand as I imagine they will be while I am away, but each time I travel it seems I evolve, a little bit. I like the incremental change. Cheers to more books and less television.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I was never a big TV-watcher, but finally decided to cancel cable entirely when I returned... so more "no" TV than "less"...

      Delete
    2. I don't have an actual television, but have been known to watch reruns of The West Wing on my laptop, so I can't say "no" TV, but not much. Enjoy today.

      Delete
  4. On Monday, I returned from an eleven-day holiday in Scotland. I had no tv, no computer, no cell phone really, no clocks telling me when to do things. My body is in shock, trying to renter the world I was once part of. Except, I've changed so much in those few days, I'm not sure how to handle it or what to do. I want to fight against the imposed rhythm, the hours I'm supposed to be sitting at my desk at work. I found something in me, something in that place that I want to keep flowing, and I'm not sure how to do that yet.

    I love that you canceled your cable. I would do that in an instant if it didn't mean losing internet as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. My trip home changed things too. I'm not sure I want to give into the rhythm more than is necessary any more...

      Delete
  5. It's interesting, the way we sway between believing beautiful sentiments and doubting them. Between thoughts thought by the sea, on top of mountains and back in the city. And it might be too easy, this kind of city-country dichotomy but it is tempting.
    Why doubt the person we were when surrounded by the free-ness that is the open sea?


    Loved this. My last hours, days, weeks of freedom, freeness, are months ago and I crave to feel it as more than holiday-sentiments.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lady, you flippin' nailed such a complex idea. I am in awe.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Find the beat and dance to it, keep the tv out of the house, read Mink RIver by Brian Doyle....all will be well. You and Brian have a similar feel for rhythm and it is bound to sooth. Summer into fall is, I think, the most challenging of seasonal transitions. Maybe buy some yellow #2 pencils a use them for writing a bit.
    Joanie in Chicago

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually love summer into fall the best! I think it's the most beautiful transition.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  8. "I saw truths transmitted through the looseness of travel that normal routine muffles"
    "The lure of practiced reactions and routines in the face of vacation's romantic mutiny"
    Jesus Jane. These lines. Yes - the meaning behind them resonates so much with me. But the beauty in the words themselves is just blowing me away. Your work abounds with lines like these. Its like coming across a magical riff in a piece of music. It stops me in my tracks. At the risk of sounding like a broken record - there is no one out there like you. You are an exceptional writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Doreen - thank you so much. I know you feel like you're repeating the same thing, but it is very meaningful to me to hear that particular passages have struck you so strongly.

      I was feeling today that I just write the same things over and over, labour over the same tired expressions and never find that phrasing that's right. So, your comment is very special to me. Thank you so much!!

      Delete
  9. Hi Jane,
    Its so nice to come across a blog (thanks to la designerie) that is so beautifully written and about real thoughts we all think about but are hard to talk freely about in everyday conversation.
    Thankyou x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you so much. And thank you too to la designerie's beautiful blog!

      Jane
      xx

      Delete

Thank you for your comments!

Comments are moderated for spam, advertising, obscenity etc. Please note that your profile name links to your site/blog. Using the comment field to promote your site/blog is considered spamming.