I don’t know if many of us are where we thought we’d be at this stage of our lives (whatever stage that might be). I’m sure not. It’s not altogether negative but it is challenging to rejigger oneself in new circumstances.
On the one hand, I’m living a regular day-to-day life, with trips to Trader Joe’s and Target, moving around this apartment I’m in as though it’s really mine even though, at the same time, it doesn’t quite feel like it is. It’s the bare walls that feed this sense of not being settled. But it takes time to feel into a space and to start to see where things want to go. I know I went through it last year when I made the first big move from Seattle to Minneapolis but that doesn’t actively mitigate the feeling of personal displacement.
I am grateful every day for the beauty that is the Northeast in the fall. And I am aware that so many people I know and love in the Pacific Northwest, and the region itself, have been acutely suffering from the fires and smoke.
The whole process of moving — planning, packing, driving, unpacking and all the myriad details that those words contain — have kept me preoccupied and given me an excuse to limit my news consumption. But I am aware of the danger our democracy is in if too many election deniers win at the polls in two weeks. And I have seen the photograph of men with antisemitic banners giving the Nazi salute on a 405 overpass in Los Angeles.
Rejiggering oneself in new circumstances is one thing. Facing fascism, especially with the knowledge that is in my very bones, is another. One of the other things that moving put on hold was the family Holocaust memoir that I had been working on. I don’t know that there is anything I can add to the conversation that will have an impact on unfolding events. I doubt it. But I do know that it is time to get back to work.
And to start getting some pictures on the walls, actively claiming my history and my space.