Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dreaming of Tuscany and Other Perfect Places

Yesterday afternoon, a friend dropped by my office.  It might have been nicer to go out for drinks and happy hour specials on food, but I was expecting a student to drop by with questions about her transcripts.  She never came.

The whole week has been like that.  Students show up with questions and a combative tone.  These are not questions about work I've done, mind you, but questions about transfer credit analysis done years ago or about grades given by others.  I calm the person down, explain what I know, which this week has not been enough, and then I explain that I need time to gather more information.  The student with the combative tone demands a follow-up meeting that will happen at a precise time, and I prepare.

And I never see them again.  Not this week, at least.

That's fine.  I have plenty of other work to do.  Or, in the case of yesterday, a friend to see.

She used to work at my school, but she's moved on, while staying in the area.  We talked about changing jobs, about how to decide when to stay or when to go, about moving to a completely different part of the country.

My spouse would happily stay in South Florida until the rising seas sweep him out into the Atlantic; hopefully, he'd have the foresight to have bought a boat.  I never feel quite settled anywhere.  We move, and I'm ready to think about the next move.

Part of me thinks it's best to stay here, since he's happy, and I'm not likely to be happy in that way no matter where we live.  Part of me still yearns for a dream job, or a dream location, or . . . gasp! both.

My friend and I talked about going to a place on vacation and immediately wanting to move there.  We laughed at ourselves.

The conversation reminded me of a poem that I wrote years ago, when everyone I knew was dreaming of Provence or Tuscany.  This poem was recently published in Adanna.

Tuscany Dreams

No one buys a suburban home
in Tuscany.
They buy old barns or sheep pens
or buildings of indeterminate
origin. In Tuscany,
the explosive wiring and undependable
plumbing seem charming
because it’s Tuscany.

No one thinks about transoceanic
flights or aging parents on a different
continent once they’ve bought
a house in Tuscany.
No one needs health
care in Tuscany. No one develops
rare diseases there.

No one mentions the cost of phone
calls to all the ones left behind in the move
to Tuscany. It’s all sun-drenched
colors and fresh foods, and no one suffers
homesickness in Tuscany.


Hannah Stephenson said...

Very true...we continually collect places that we've left. I'm always thinking about this.

Wendy said...

My spouse and I do that together--thinking about moving to every place we visit--especially if it's the pacific northwest (US or, even more, Canada). Or England. Or New England. Or the Midwest. Oh, well.