Wednesday, February 21, 2007

home, a cozy little prison?

David Byrne has visited Savannah, Georgia recently, and made me wistful for that amazing city. I've only been once, but Shane and I fell in love. The architecture and garden squares, spanish moss looking all lazy and drapey and sexy everywhere, the sultry heat just cast a spell on me. Something reminded me of the New Orleans of my imagination (never been there much to my disappointment.)

We talk about moving there when we daydream together. I vascillate between completely loving the relatively small town we live in, and feeling smothered my the familiarity. I love that our families are close, and I love the friendliness and comfort of this place, but sometimes I feel so sheltered and ignorant of the real world. I'm sure a lot of this feeling comes from living 10 or so miles from the house I grew up in and isn't a West Virginia thing necessarily. I've only ever lived one other place- Pittsburgh for a brief alternate universe of a time- and I feel like I'm missing so much culture and experience. In ways I feel insulated here. Time's strange in Appalachia. The mood of the people of older generations seems like it's the same as their grandparents' grandparents. Very slow, resistant to change, and conservative. My generation has the advantage of living in two communities- the global environment technology has created and the small old one we were raised in.

I love it and hate it. I think how lucky Molly will be to grow up in a safe tame world, then I remember how we are ranked 49th in quality of education. I have reveries of living on the east coast- the left coast, where I'd feel at home with the liberal green attitude that's so alien here still. Then my love of the earth reminds me how much I'd miss the green hills and little wandering creeks. Shane hates that idea, but moving to Savannah or the Outer Banks sounds good to him. The ocean would be a more than fair trade for the mountains I think. When I'm on Hatteras Island, where my mom's ashes were washed into the sea, I feel more at home in myself than I do here.

Beneath all these musing is the reality of our situation. We feel trapped by our bank account- if we could travel more, would we be happier to come home? How would we make a move if we wanted to? We also know Molly will be starting school in a few very short years. We'd rather be settled for her- someplace else or here. And what about the grandies, who see her every other day now. How could we take her away from them? But are we hindering her by staying here? I hate thinking I'm doing things by default. Like I'm not choosing anything, I'm just letting circumstance do it for me. If we have a choice some day when money's coming more easily, and we decide it's best to be here, we'll be here on purpose and that's wonderful. I'm just feeling trapped because our options in so many areas are severely limited.

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