The End is Here – last part
The Elephant in the Room
Part B of 2 Parts
It has become more real that we are actually doing this, before long we’ll be moving on, and it hurts. Damn it hurts. What’s that old saying; you never miss a drink of water ‘till the well runs dry? I’m feeling a huge visceral sadness of leaving my homeland. I’ve spent time in a lot of counties, but I came back home. There was a psychic center of gravity. Now this is moving, in a big way.
I connect with most of my friends by Internet, seldom in person. Friends who’ve lasted many years, but now we almost never meet in person. Still, there is this feeling of removal — by the time you read this I’ll be far away. A feeling of difference, of distance. Doesn’t make much sense, but is extremely real, felt by myself and friends. It will be interesting to see how it goes. There might be more to say to each other, seeing things from different places. But it hurts to leave America; it’s been a subliminal kick in the guts—blindsided, unexpected and very powerful. I am so ashamed to feel this pain—this fear of flying. To leave this country of my fathers, fathers, fathers. My great, great something came from the east to Illinois on a mule with a bible – must have traveled light. His name was Joshua, that’s all I ever heard about him.
I will leave my native tongue, a way of living—culture. Basic, subtle ways of thinking. No Thanksgiving, no Fourth of July. Swedes have Midsummer, a kind of ancient solstice thing. The sun does not set for a couple days. The natives go nuts when it gets warm, and it’s nice, very pleasant. Lasts about three months. The rest of the year it’s dark, almost no sun.You freeze your ass off, then it snows. If your lucky you can pull off a couple weeks vacations in Thailand, or Egypt. Swedes are very into Christmas. There are dinners, parties, presents . . . much the same as here but different. It’s a Swedish tradition to watch old black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons on TV Christmas day. Go figure. I’ve enjoyed the Christmas I’ve spent there.
I will have to wait and see how my life there will be. Hard to imagine. I know very well what leaving’s like. I am immersed in leaving, letting go of stuff. Makes perfect sense to make this move. Wife says we should have done it sooner and I think so too, but understand my own reluctance to go through all this . . . to leave behind so much. To step into another world . . . for the rest of my life.
Stockholm is a great city, very nice. I like it. Two hour train ride from where we will live. The trains are nice, and run on time. Everything runs on time—dependable as a Volvo. Our small town is easy to get around and has everything a person might need. It’s nice, some pleasant cafes, great little sushi place . . . good library—if I could just read Swedish. There are two banks couple hotels, small businesses and a nice little park. One the edge of town there is a shopping center as big as the Brazil.