...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Puta la weá

I take back--or at least, modify--what I said earlier about the transition being easier than I thought it would be.

Peggy was over awhile ago and asked me if I ever feel like a prospective student here. I hadn't thought about it that way before, but often I do. I know so few people and I don't know what my place here is anymore. When it all comes together, like at the TCK dinner Friday night; or moments today during the roadtrip with Clay, Chris, and Matt; or at Sarah and Rachel's last week--it feels wonderful, and I know who I am. But then there's some unexpected dip, like not being invited to some party that my roommates are all at right now; or realizing that a friend and are now nowhere near as close as we used to be and I don't know how to change that or even if said friend wants to change that; or walking down to Howard and recognizing no one, and it all comes crashing down and I feel lost and I wonder, "Why didn't I just stay in Chile, where I knew where I stood?" And when that thought came to me, I couldn't believe it, because it's not like Chile was perfect either.

The other day my Chilean friend Ronald emailed me about what an effect I had had on him, and how he missed me. I definitely had to cry over that one.

But hasn't it always been like this? Sort of. I mean, this whole party business, it's not the first time these people have snubbed me and it won't be the last, so I should probably just figure out a way to quit letting it affect me so much. That's the hard part, though, because you can't go through life--I can't go through life--without having expectations of others. The Russian author Viktoria Tokareva puts it beautifully in several of her short stories. In "Between Heaven and Earth," she writes: "People and obligations are like the soil and trees. Like gigantic hands, the tree-roots reach deep into the soil, holding it together, while at the same time they sustain themselves. The soil needs trees, and the trees need soil. Obligations exist not only between the living and the dead, but also between the living. Tearing out one tree, one has to make sure that another tree is planted in its place and will take root and grow. If you tear out one tree without planting another, you will stand above the crater just staring at the damage you have done." To continue in her language, some of my roots are sinking down deeper now, deeper than they were before. But some have been torn up, and I'm just standing above the crater looking at the damage.

At the beginning of each semester, I always think that this is the semester that everything will really come together--that this time, I've got all my shit together. And then 'round bout this time, it kind of crashes down and I admit that I still need to be going to the Counseling Center. Somehow, though, coupled with the culture shock, it feels deeper and more painful this semester. I can try to pretend by being all analytical and shit and rationalizing that now I have more time to do homework, but that's barely even a surface level solution.

To those of you who are there, thank you. I appreciate and love you more than I can express. I will be okay--I just need to work some stuff out.