Saturday, October 20, 2012

North Carolina calls me home

I've never before been in a situation where I suddenly had to abandon a big, long-term, difficult, exciting project. Nothing really urgent, that would require me to abandon a big, long-term, difficult, exciting project, has ever happened in my life. Well. I'm not a quitter and it wasn't a hard decision, but now I will be leaving Norway nine months earlier than expected and I'm not sure when I'll be coming back.

It is nice to think about times that you have felt "a part of something larger than yourself." I felt that way in college, walking through the old yard to the Adams library or some similar place with very bright and clear focus on everyone around, so occupied with their important and exciting things. (I watched the beginning of "The Social Network" when I was in a crumbling far-away hostel last month and was totally overwhelmed and desperate to put this feeling into words, which is not really possible. Maybe it is a feeling of being caught up broadly and communally in a tradition where the tradition is all about intense private work. It is a comfort that the very beating core of student-hood is something too personal to blog about, in that it would be unremarkable to anyone else. You are sitting in the library, eyeballs-deep in a Phil Fisher essay or so, and then you ignite with non-transmittable elation.)

But this right now is a new kind of "part of something larger than yourself": It's emotionally mandatory. It's invisible bonds you never tested before. You can't accidentally forget to go to your wedding, for example.

Blessed be the tie that binds! They sang this song in "Our Town," my junior year of high school (I was the train whistle), and I still sing it to myself all the time.

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