All my life I have sought adventure through strange occurrences clandestine to all but me. Perhaps I was born under some transcendental gypsy sky or bit by some rare rambling bug early on in life; nevertheless, I have always been an eager and willing traveller.
I like to change scenery quite often. This is by no means a confession, but more a stated fact. I move around a lot and having children didn’t really change that at all.
Once I eavesdropped on a man talking about following a band on its West Coast tour, and I went--with nothing but a skirt on my hips, a bandana around my chest, and a bicentennial quarter in my pocket. After holding hands with a strip-mall psychic, I left my boyfriend and headed to Alaska with Ishmael, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and my 6 month-old daughter. Since then I have lived in 18 different places spanning thousands of miles--and every time, on a whim (or at least with confirmation through etheric insight).
I have gained a few more in my troupe: A husband, our son, a three-legged dog, and a deaf cat. Now I sit on my father-in-law’s stoop, challenging the heavens for a sign and hoping my cosmic compass will lead me toward the next great adventure.
But now my children’s needs supersede my wanderlust. I MUST become consistent, my logic says. Yes, my cravings compromise. The next place we will stay.
The globe on the bookshelf calls me like fruits to Tantalus. Spin me...close your eyes....land anywhere...
My I-Ching book is still in storage getting musty and out of shape. My tarot cards have become warped and convoluted.
So, I sit at my computer, idly plucking away at digital tiles, I play Mahjong while I wait for a sign. I lose a lot. Pretty much always. And every time the computer laughs at my loss, scrawling my defeat over the orphaned and mismatched tiles, “No More Moves.”
I try again, frantically. In some way, perhaps by aligning the cosmos and finding lovers for each tile, I keep hoping that an e-mail notice will chime and alert me to a job available in London or Morocco or Duluth and I’ll whisk the troupe away to consistency.
“No More Moves,” flashes onto my screen with harsh and unpleasant tones.
Perhaps this sign is not the most elusively seductive course of action, I would prefer that my losing streak with Mahjong would say, “Move to Rio” or at least provide a path. Unfortunately, the sign is painfully clear. I should stay put.
As a mother, this would seem a natural desire. To create a home and develop a long-term sense of place should be every mother’s greatest hope. The notion of living years in one single place should not send a person crawling out of their skin. But the idea petrifies me. I’m afraid that I will never again experience new places, new people, and breathe in a new life. I’ll go stale.
But, the sign is apparent. I am staying put. The Mahjong tells me so. The troupe needs it, and I’m sure, in some dark and unused corner of my psyche, I need it, too.
So here I will stay. I will wriggle and fidget like a 4 year-old in Sunday’s best and maybe pout for a while, but I will not budge. Perhaps there is adventure in consistency. We shall see.
Photos provided by MIT (senseable.mit.edu) and 3drenderstuff (3drenderstuff.wordpress.com)