Puzzle Pieces.

From the other side – that’s the one from which comfort and routine seem so far away – it’s difficult to convince yourself that the myriad tasks heaped on the queue will ever really be addressed and crossed off the list. Taking them on all at once is sure suicide (or madness), and it is a task in and of itself to remember that the only way to confront them well is face each individually, acknowledging the cuts and grooves of each one with full attention and tenacious drive to complete it well, to knock it the hell out of the park.

Individually, not all at once. The mantra.

Moving across the world is difficult enough with all of its clashes of culture, vibrantly melancholic memories, and stuffed-in emotion that Departure leaves you with; they all work against you and attempt to malign that safe perch to which you valiantly try to cling, and this doesn’t even include the physical labors of reintegration – new address, new contact, new…identity. New me. Remember me?

But it’s not always hard. Sometimes the old routine still fits you like a glove, or at least a threadbare pair of house slippers. The stains from pets and breakfasts immemorial, holes from sliding down the parqueted hall to grab the phone, answer the door, or just to hurry to watch the rain pattering down on the street outside, are still part of their charm and their comfort. Sometimes it’s not like going backwards, but more like reminding yourself who you’ve been, and what you currently are.

The Old Me and the New Me are now tightly wound around each other, DNA-stranded together in an extricable affair of process and memory. It is simple routine that triggers this acknowledgment, and it’s borne completely of warm welcomes and hopeful integrity. This week has seen a return to many fields which I once loved so much, now conjured again with a new twist: a greater awareness of the world around me and an enormous appreciation for life and the privileges that come with it.

This was brought on by a few important experiences. Two stories up on a wobbly ladder, doing menial labor – with a graduate degree. A string of reconnecting stops and drop-ins from Novato to San Francisco, with smiling faces and warm hearts all along. Another night wrangling sea lions, and the smell of marine mammal juices in the fog. A knowing glance and a quiet giggle to old, yellow slicker-clad friends while slopping around in seal poop. These skills never go away. Like riding a bike, really. Newfangled gadgets, the goal of a free, wireless City, making muffins in the morning with dear friends and pumpkin ice cream with shortbread and Nutella in the evening with the same.

A promise of the old management job, starting now (again) in just a short week, with all the benefits of before and eager returns. So I finally get it, after all, and after all that worry. Back to the games, then. It’s what part of me wanted – the part of my youth that just wants to play; but of course there’s more. And there’s room for future plans, perhaps even more than before. Today I set up the painting table again, with great thanks to my dear household hosts for the room and the support. Opening the box of colors was just incredible, and they electrified me with their humongous hues and scintillating saturations. I need to stop writing now so I can drip some layers on to eagerly-awaiting metal and primer.

But everything here is okay. In fact, it’s just wonderful. I hope you are feeling similarly.


26 Responses to “Puzzle Pieces.”

  1. pisica Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 6:38 am

    Two stories up on a wobbly ladder, doing menial labor – with a graduate degree.
    Heh. The summer before I came to Edinburgh I was working at the same temp job I'd had before a) finishing the master's degree (or nearly so) and b) my Fulbright year. It does keep one humble….
    Glad you're going to be back in management – and painting!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:37 pm

    No kidding, eh? It's our lot in life.
    But at least this one's got color…

  3. retrogoth Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 6:41 am


  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:37 pm

    And you're the diseased leprechaun at the end, baby.

  5. purpledonna Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 6:54 am

    I see purple paint in the top right hand corner…YAY!!

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:38 pm

    13 shades of purple, darling. And I ain't sharing!

  7. thistlelurid Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 7:05 am

    Ive done a lot of moving….from Michigan to San Francisco to Chicago and then to Portland….different reasons…different outcomes ……and at first I often thought that the "new me" was a rebirth or a sort of disconnect from the "old me" like you………..it isnt until Id unpack the boxes…..that Id find the "kats, katherines and katies" lurking in every shadow of my new environment. I guess its taken 35 years…..but this time…when I heard the girls "knocking"…I actually let them in……Im tightly wound now as well…me, I, myself…..Im starting to think I was running around looking for them…not running from them. Kudos to you for figured this out sooner than this ol vagabond…and youre younger than me…once again …confirming…Im riding the "short bus" of life…..aaahh well……that only means I get special treatment in the lunch line. :*)

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:47 pm

    Hey Kat – some people *never* get it. The key is that you have, however long it's taken. And what are a few years between friends?
    I'm so glad you've made it, though, and with all the girls wound snugly around you. It makes you so deep and rich and lovely. And if you're riding any length of bus to this prestigious destination, I certainly hope that you've saved me a seat – next to you, preferably.

  9. thistlelurid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 8:15 pm

    theres always room for you on my wee bus…
    stap yourself in beside me…the ride is bumpy.

  10. thistlelurid Says:
    October 25th, 2004 at 6:13 am

    +r … oop.

  11. agntprovocateur Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 9:17 am

    layne ….with a Y dammit!
    Glad the work situation has resolved. Can't wait to hear about it….. 🙂
    I need to stop writing now so I can drip some layers on to eagerly-awaiting metal and primer.
    btw, in my quick glancing mode i read this as "…awaiting mental primer"

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:39 pm

    Mental primer is always a good thing. We should market it as an adjunct to your new business…

  13. agntprovocateur Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 4:26 pm

    in a spray bottle no less!
    you know, i like that idea for a fragrance…. we need to ask ms kitty darkcyde to blends us a sample. 🙂

  14. agntprovocateur Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 4:28 pm

    correction: spray paint bottle!

  15. spiffington Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 9:40 am

    Sometimes the old routine still fits you like a glove…
    And just remember when trying to find the right new pair, the old ones that still have some wear left in them still do the same job they always did. Even if they are looking a little thin and even if they don't *quite* match you and yours as much as you thought they did. Still worth keeping them and slipping them on when your cold…
    I'll be waiting to see what new fashions you do find 🙂

  16. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:43 pm

    Right, indeed.
    You can bet they'll be all a-tartaned.

  17. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 23rd, 2004 at 12:33 pm

    So, you'll be working at the one up here in Marin then?
    That is so hot.

  18. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:40 pm

    Yes, back in the saddle, so to speak. Though the fishbowl of 4th Street doesn't particularly look very appealing at this point…
    We are long overdue, my dear, and I'm sorry I haven't mailed you back. I know you were just in LA; you'll be hearing from me very soon!

  19. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 26th, 2004 at 3:14 am

    No problem. I am positive you've been scrambling.
    The offer of our groovy guest room still stands if you haven't found a place by the time you start your new job.

  20. seolta Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:26 am

    Look at all the pretty colours 🙂
    …. another dragon for my collection at xmas/birthday maybe…. hint, hint 😉

  21. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:41 pm

    Yes, love. As you've pointed out, I live to serve you.

  22. angledge Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 6:10 am

    Individually, not all at once. The mantra.
    Om … I'll try to keep this in mind.
    Beautiful photo, BTW.

  23. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 24th, 2004 at 2:42 pm

    The mantra was for you as much as myself, of course. It's a healthy one, and speaking with you on it was reciprocally instructive for myself.
    So thank you, in a round-about kind of way.

  24. astorax Says:
    October 25th, 2004 at 3:33 am

    Poke poke, so…say for the sake of argument a guy mebbe had the money to actually get back into figures and painting and such…might there perhaps be a manager that would want to sit such a person down at a painting table and give him some pointers?
    Besides which, I'd like to hang out anyway now that I'm not living in LA, mebbe drag you over here to East Bay for a pint? We can drag <lj user=dougygyro> out too as I haven't had the chance to visit with him since his return from across the ocean either…

  25. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 26th, 2004 at 1:32 pm

    If, perchance, a certain person wants to actually enroll and spend some time in a certain painting class that a certain manager will be holding regularly at a certain store, said instructor and long-time acquaintance might just delight in seeing that person's noggin' floating around the old premises once again.
    But only if you stop spelling it 'mebbe'.
    Good to hear from you, G, and yes – we're overdue for a drink or six.

  26. astorax Says:
    October 26th, 2004 at 1:40 pm

    Oh okay, I'll spell maybe right. 🙂 We probably ought to take this offline to chat about the class and such…drop me a note at my lj name at hotmail.com and we can go from there!

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