Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Message to the Great Circle

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go!

Not really — the bags are packed, but I'm never really ready.

Was jotting an email to an Aussie friend yesterday when I realized that the ones I love in the 'down under' fill a space in my psyche that cannot be filled by anyone but those who live here. Even though I am about to travel to the ' up over' better known as the northern prairie and anticipate reunion with some of the most important folks in my life, it is paramount to understand that the two groups of people do not occupy the same space in my inner realm.

Kind of like being the Queen of Hearts - yep, I aspire to such generalized metaphorical nonsense.

In my court there are many alliances, all of which are essential to the healthy functioning of my royal psyche. None can be eliminated. All are essential.

I do realize just how narcissistic this whole description is, but that changes the truth of it not a whit.

My Australian connections supply me with a sense of being competent, quietly (yeah, right, whoever describes a traveling American as quiet) able to drive on the left hand side of the road, to accept that I am an individual unlike most who inhabit this territory. They accept my foibles and gift me with their model of decorum. They seldom act out, make waves, or congratulate anyone on the basic niceties expressed within their hearing. Compliments are not the order of the day; here behaviour speaks much louder than words.

They protect me from my most abrasive American foibles and laugh with delight when I slip into the old patterns of just being 'way too out there.' They tolerate my problem solving techniques — just ask the man! "Excuse me, Sir, (oops - a non word in Oz) but why is it that you are barefoot in the middle of the central business district?"

No Ozite would ever ask. Most Americans would be driven by curiosity to check out the real reason for such a bizzare lack of protection for the feet.

I will miss these polite but straight shooting ( no guns generally in Oz) friends who have made life here possible for me.

On the other hand, I am about to land on my own feet in nordamerika where folks say what they mean more often than they act out their intentions. I must be careful with this generalization. My friends in Nordacotah have been more generous than any outlander has a right to expect. They have given freely of their time, gasoline, knowledge, scones, and sunflowers than anyone else on the planet.

And then, there is my Los Angeles connection who is willing not only to drive in the middle of a summer afternoon all the way to LAX to pick us up, but also to drive us across the California and Arizona desert to Flagstaff. The generosity of spirit astounds me. The welcome spirit of America reminds me of how powerful it is to be a land of plenty. If one has enough, it is acceptable to share that enough with those one loves and often with strangers as well.

Those I love in America are most apt to tell me about my foibles rather to than to simply endure them, but those foibles are of a very different sort than the ones I might commit in the southern hemisphere.

In America, I tend to step on the toes of folks in power, sometimes of folks who are powerless. Both deeds are unacceptable. To spend too much time talking of self is common, but nonetheless unacceptable. Americans will remind me. For this, I am grateful.

I'm blessed to have two worlds in which to live and love. They are different to be sure, but both provide a background and support system that gives me reason to celebrate.

About to cross the divide — Message to the Great Circle 'Crossing over, please bless our passage.'