Saturday, May 06, 2006

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

(an aside - the title reminds me of a book my parents have with plays on words (Upon My Word? - or was that a show the authors were on?) - the particular story I'm thinking of ended with "absinthe makes the fart go honda")

You may have picked up, either because you know me or because I have nothing to blog about regional Australia, that I'm not particularly enamoured of the town I'm living in. I love my job and where it's taking my career, and this town certainly isn't an awful place - there's plenty of good things about it. And I know I just need to meet a few people and that has nothing to do with this town, just with being in a new town.

And I'm at a point where I'm not going to move somewhere just because. There has to be a good reason, and that reason would have to be a bloody good research or university position.

One place I've always thought I would move back to is Wellington, NZ. I was there last week (apologies to any Wellingtonian friends reading this, I saw no-one except family) for my grandmother's funeral. The past few times I've been back the weather has been shocking, which has made me think twice, but this time it was sunny and warm and the ocean and the hills felt like where I should be. I haven't lived in Wellington since 1998.

I was away in NZ for 5 days, then I had one night at home and drove up to Bathurst for a colloquium for 3 days. I never realised I wanted to drive around Mt Panorama (famous Bathurst racing circuit), but then I drove around it and it was kind of cool. It was suggested I should move to Bathurst and work at the university there. This thought made me really appreciate where I live now.

Now I'm back home again, and it is home. I'm considering buying a house, because I can always rent it out or sell it if it I leave. I'm definitely here until the end of the year - I have a theatre ticket for October. And I'll probably be here longer, but I realise my ambivalence is stopping me from really putting down roots of any kind. I would like a cat - but what if I leave? There's a number of groups I've been meaning to join but somehow never got around to it - bushwalking group, orchestra, martial arts. Actually, I did finally start taekwondo almost 2 weeks ago, but only went to one class before taking off - they must think I hated it and was lying when I said I'd definitely be back. Taekwondo isn't nearly as good as hapkido, but it's the best I can do in this town. And today I took my flute in to get it fixed (one of the keys is loose, which means I can't play any notes between C and F, which is kind of limiting). So once I get that back I can join the orchestra.

I'm reading a book called 'Belonging' (Isabel Huggan), about living in different places and finding your spiritual home - a place where you instantly feel you belong, even if you've never been there before. I'm fairly certain this town isn't my spiritual home, but that doesn't mean I can't make it my home for a while.

I think San Francisco may be my spiritual home.

Where is your spiritual home?