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Coming to Rest

If I didn't have kids, I'd probably move to China. I've been rootless my entire adult life. I have a long list of cities, states, and countries I've lived in. It's easy to take me out of context, as my context is absurdly abstract, intellectualized, made up.

I don't have many close friends, and the people I communicate with online live all over the world. I'd be no further from them in China than I am here in Vermont.

Why would I want to move to China? They're on the upswing. The US is in decline. I hear there are English teaching jobs to be had in China. I did that in Japan in the 90s, and it was an easy gig. I could go for round two of that.

But I do have kids, and by the time my youngest is 20 (an arbitrary age, I know, but I'm just spitballing here), I will be 57. By then, my mother will be 86, and I wouldn't want to be living in a different hemisphere from her.

I'm not going to China.

No, it seems I'll be right here in Vermont, finally putting down some roots. I like it here, but the idea that I won't be moving again to a completely new situation and a new environment is hard to trust. It doesn't feel real.

If climate change proceeds at the pace of the most dire predictions, I'll be able to stay right here and have a new environment take shape around me. That won't be fun, in the aggregate, but I might still have a bit of fun in the interstitial spaces amidst giant fragments of disaster colliding and shattering and making a mess of the old and laying the groundwork for what is to come.

What is to come? The future? I'd love to be done with the future, but I have no clue as to what living in the present would feel like with no care for what comes next. I've often loaded my future self up with debts and consequences, but it wasn't because I was completely absorbed in the moment. Even as I was screwing my future self, I had my eyes on the future. Too much so, perhaps. I tripped over the things under my feet while I kept my eyes on the horizon.

Oh well, I'm more than half-way through this life unless the techno-utopians are right and longevity proves not only feasible but affordable for people who occupy my station on the economic ladder. More possibilities are closed to me with each passing year, so I hang out with older people. It makes me feel young, whereas hanging out with young people leaves me feeling bloated, sagging, and out of touch.

All the more reason to take seriously the possibility that I may have finally come to rest. The older folks stay here and the young ones, the ones who can, leave. The longer I stay, the older I get, the more I fit in here.

Still, I can imagine putting down roots, but I don't feel it. It isn't real yet.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2017 04:54 am (UTC)
I get the "move to China" impulse, but I've only really lived in two places as an adult, so that won't be happening. --- I love the place I live now but it's on the bleeding edge of climate disaster - desert SW.

Sometimes we joke that we moved to this retirement city so we could be the youngest.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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