Sunday, October 02, 2005

Moving On

I am almost done with Everything Is Illuminated, one of the best books I've read in ages. After discovering a Map of the World from the year 1791, the main character writes "When this map was made, I thought, you could live without knowing where you were not living."

Why do I have so much trouble staying in the here and now? Daily I am thinking: Maybe I should join the Peace Corps and go to Africa. Or I could teach in Asia. Or I could just take my tent and wander around all those states between Oklahoma and California that I've never been to. Or I could get on a train and travel across Canada. Or I could move back to Arkansas and spend more time with my family. What would it be like if I had stayed in Memphis? Maybe I could go to St. Louis because I love it there and have great friends there. Clearly, I am continuously aware of all of the places I am not.

But even as I am thinking these things, I am also trying to live in the moment. I don't want to be too caught up in plans for the future or what-ifs from the past. I tell myself, I will probably only be here for two more years, I should make the most of my New York City time. Then I think, maybe I'll end up staying in New York City for forever. And it all starts again.

I wonder how I would function in a time period when the world was so much larger than it is now. Would I have ever moved so far away from Arkansas if I wasn't so easily able to stay in touch with everyone and fly home when I needed to. Would I have even considered moving to New York City? Would I have even heard of it? And would I ask as many answer-less questions as I do now?

1 comment:

Mom said...

You would still have travelled to some remote place, set up a town, became mayor of that town, and the had all your relatives move there.