Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Maybe I'll Go To Australia


The things I want are hard to keep up with. Which is what makes me think I don't know what I really want at all.

Yesterday a brewing job popped up in northern Montana. And Mr. V said, Do you want to move to Montana?

I've always wanted to move to Montana, I said. Except for when I always wanted to move to Paris. Or New Mexico. Or California.

Recently I've latched on to Arizona. Anything might be taken as a sign. An advanced readers copy of a book in which the heroine goes missing to Arizona, takes a lover, eats food made with chilies and cilantro, swims at night in a moonlit pool, begins to feel like a possible road map for my own life. (Hey, I've already got the lover). I dream of heat on my skin. All the time. Of large houses filled with that dusty red tile. Great open windows. The desert air and lots of light.

I even dream of finding scorpions in my cupboards and snakes on my patio, so you can't say I'm completely out of touch with reality.

Then Amanda Palmer comes on my ipod singing one of those songs that you're certain must have been written for you specifically. She has visited me in my sleep. I believe in wonder, these things do happen. You'd have to hear the song, it won't translate into print, but at the end, she sings--F it. I'm gonna go to Australia.

And I think: Yeah. Australia.

Then the Oprah show is in Australia for a week and do you see what I mean about the signs?

In Montana, I would ride horses and grow tomatoes and kale and rhubarb. In Arizona we would hike in the canyons and live at the pool and never feel cold. In New Mexico I'd buy Hopi pottery and Navajo rugs and not see my neighbors for days. In Paris we would spend rainy afternoons at the Louvre. We'd buy our dinner fresh every day. My children would say merci.

But what of Australia? Barcelona? Coastal Sweden, Southern France?

Don't mistake me. I'm not feeling depressed or morose. If I really, really wanted those things--I'd be doing them, wouldn't I? I cannot say that I've seriously researched moving to Paris, or even to Sedona or Bozeman. I'm just wondering at what point do we realize, at what point do we say: Yes, the weight of all those other lives might crush, if we let them. But maybe what I always wanted was to be right here. Right now.

Lucky--Amanda had a song for that, too.

How strange to see that I don't want to be the person that I want to be.

In this life, there is a good good husband and children whom I love. There is time to write, time to read, time to drink good wine. There are summers by the pool, drives in the mountains, afternoons by the river, evenings in the yard. There are the scents of grinding coffee, roasted chilies, and coconut oil on pale skin. Barbies in the bathtub, princess dresses worn with pink cowgirl boots and medieval armor. There are three warm bodies early mornings in the bed. There is someone to come home to. Hot dinner and cold beer waiting. Yes, there is the brutal cold of January, the early dark, the cluttered kitchen.

January passes. Everything does.

I am Vesuvius and I left my Soul with Amanda Palmer. She picked it up and wrote some songs.


  1. In ten years come buy land with us. We will grow our food, get fresh seafood from the saturday markets. Maybe ride our donkeys into town for fun. We will grow hops, and chilis for never ending chili beers. We'll go camping at the beaches. Maybe drive down to the redwoods. We will build our own homes which will be rustic and warm... It will be so nice to be us in the future!

  2. You Can't go wrong with Bozeman 'cept the winter's are fierce. Missoula is the banana belt 'cause of the winds from the Pacific. In either case, I would love to visit as I still have a Montana Trout to catch. Love, Dada.

  3. I never wanted to live in Colorado. I was convinced I belonged in Connecticut. It is my "Soul-landscape". And yet, while I prefer the endless green of the East Coast, the Dunkin Donuts and the accents, my family is here. When I lived there, I missed them every single day. When I live here, I don't really miss Connecticut. Except on fall days. And that is what planes are for. I'm so checking out Amanda Palmer.


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