This is super disappointing, as I was supposed to take my kids on a field trip to see a rugby game tonight, (another director is going in my stead - but I'd been looking forward to it), and tomorrow I was/am supposed to go on a field trip with our photography kids to the Blanton Museum, and Friday is the New Media Fashion Brunch. I will probably be functional thanks to the miracle OTC drug that is AZO, and the antibiotics (I'm practically on horse killing antibiotics at this point), but having the infection still wears me down physically, (I should probably be sleeping in bed right now, as opposed to laying in it).
But, in perusing the vastness of internet blogs - I found a Little Rock fashion blogger - and her blog is beautiful! When I was on my own in Little Rock, (I lived with my grandmother for a while), I first owned a house, then sold it and moved into a downtown apartment in a remodeled cathedral from the 1800's, then moved out of it to live with my then-boyfriend in an old carriage house. Most of Starr's photos are taken in and around the downtown area, which is rife with heart breakingly beautiful historic homes. The heart breaking part is that most of them have fallen into grave disrepair, and it's the "poor" section of town, so there isn't a lot of money or incentive to fix the homes. There are several streets that have been renovated and kept up, and they sell for upwards of $400,000 - $1,000,000. I know this because I helped remodel a house on E. Daisy Bates, so I'm a downtown Little Rock real estate expert (well, maybe a tiny bit).
So going through all of her photos as I lay around being infected has been making me nostalgic and sort of sad, and then I even found one with my carriage house in it:
My house is the gray two story behind her to the left.
I actually have terribly sad memories about that house, because it's where Michael and I broke up, which, clearly, was not the desired outcome when we decided to move in together. It doesn't help that I'm also a chronic second guesser. I've been reading Elizabeth Gilbert's book Committed, and she writes:
"The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word 'zwei,' which means 'two,' and the word 'zweifel,' which means 'doubt' - suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neuroses-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time."
I feel crippled in this way often. I don't know if I made the right decision by leaving Little Rock, by coming to Austin, by starting teaching, by quitting teaching, by letting my ten+ year relationship with Michael dissolve, by moving on to a new one... I know that when I made the decision to leave Little Rock, I was unhappy where I was working, I felt tied to the place I am from and like I needed a new experience, or a clean slate from all of the mistakes I had been repeatedly making. Maybe one day I will learn that physical place has no bearing on when and how we start things over. Being a seasoned army brat and bag packer, though, it's difficult to change old habits.
When I was in Little Rock a few weeks ago for my great-grandmother's funeral in Prescott, I wrote here that I feel as though I own Little Rock, in that I have a memory to impress on every part of it. Maybe my inability to let go of certain people stems from the same sentimentality.
I know that when I lived there, I tried very hard to help revive the slam poetry scene both in the adult sector and with the students I taught, but I never felt creative. The most creative I have ever felt was living in a tiny dorm in D.C., and then in my apartment in Fayetteville, AR, where I mostly made sad collages and wrote terrible poems that spoke way too much about lamp light and the train tracks that passed directly outside my window. Oddly or as an excuse, I correlate much of my stifled feelings with the time my mom died, as though I've been seeking to regain my proverbial creative footing ever since then.
In a weird way, seeing other people find the most beautiful aspects of Little Rock and be inspired by it, reminds me that I really don't own any of it all, no matter how hard my heart seems to squeeze when I think about it, see pictures of it, or suffocatingly - go back to visit.
Perhaps the bottom line here is that the only thing that ever holds a person back is themselves? I'm not sure what I am still waiting for Austin to give me, (I can hardly remember why I randomly selected it as my place of escape), but there is the sensation of a foot stepping into cold water before the rest of the body wants to follow.
Speaking of the body, Lennon just came back in with my antibiotic prescription from Walgreens. I get these so frequently that I won the prize of an ultrasound, although I don't think it will reveal anything, I'm certain I'm just unlucky. I need to go ahead and schedule that appointment, note to self.
As an almost crass-turnaround, I feel compelled to post this video with lyrics, seeing as I center half of my Little Rock nostalgia around high school crushes, college love affairs, and a good deal of mutual heart smashing. So, it fits.