Man, what a town. Just settling into my seat, I hear a short, young “hi” just in front of me. Looking up, out the back eat of a passing car a boy smiles at me. The Ohio version of honking and cat calls, no doubt.
Yes, Ohio. Yellow Springs. Xenia Ave, aka 68, aka the Main Drag. The funky circular brick building which produced one of my favorite pictures. My New Home… not the building, just the town. I don’t quite know where I stand with that idea. Is my center that solid or am I just in denial? Anything is possible at this point, considering how jumbled and confused my mind has been this past week. That last month had been a whirlwind – an even better analogy, a roller-coaster ride, with its dips and turns and fits and starts, at the end of which is the Great Big Dive, the mother of all plummets, the crash-down into oblivion. That was last weekend. The entire weekend, from Friday until Tuesday, the accumulation of everything. Wednesday onward was spent reeling from the ride – dizzy, out of breath, chaotic and neurotic. I wanted another go and all I wanted to do was get as far away as possible. Couldn’t have both, and fate chose the second option. The wee hours of Saturday morning found me on a plane to Ohio (after three hours sleep).
But last week doesn’t seem to matter anymore. It’s gone and so am I, though I feel the need to get out much of it onto these pages. I had shifts in consciousness and realizations and inspirations, and of course absolutely no time to write. And because it didn’t out right away, it may never. I can already feel an embolus beginning to develop directly in the front-center of my brain. Perhaps I can get it out in some other way. Or perhaps writing about my pilgrimage here will help start the purging.
Having stayed at the Zen Center for the last three nights in RI, I drove each day – often two or three times – back to Providence to clean out my apartment. Driving into Providence down 146 offers the most amazing view of the city, and without fail every time I saw it I got choked up. Because, you see, it didn’t really hit me until Wednesday that I was Leaving. Not just leaving, but Leaving. Until that point I had successfully distracted myself with a number of other things, all of which decided to evanesce from my reality at exactly the same time, leaving me with nothing more than the reality of Leaving. I began to miss things and I wasn’t even gone yet.
On the plane I saw Providence and beyond from thousands of feet in the air and choked up one last time. I dwelled briefly on the thought that much of me did not want to do this – which was largely illogical but not entirely – attributed it to many variables and dozed with some form of The Butcher Boy running through my brain – one last attempt at distraction.