Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life in a blender


Well, considering that I started this blog in honor of my move from Italy back to the US after 15 years living abroad, I guess I should have something to say about the matter. Something moving. Something deep. Today as I walked through my new life, I tried to make some sense of how it all feels. I receive e-mails with queries like, "So how are you then?" "Are you settled?" "Are you missing anything?" "Have you adjusted?"


I never quite know how to answer these questions. My responses feel like they must be fake. Living in Italy for so many years in Jenny's shoes must have left some indelible mark on me somewhere, but I can't quite seem to find it. Maybe it's right there on that spot in the center of my back that I can't reach when it itches. When I try to imagine what has changed for me apart from the obvious, all I see are images of myself spinning around in a blender. There I am stumbling off the train as I first set foot in Italy. There I am 9 months pregnant balancing four plates of pasta as I served lunch in our restaurant. There I am driving like a bat out of hell on the Italian highways (when in Rome...). There I am the foreigner, the expat, the americana, the bionda...


Then there are the images of now, of the mountains, the silence, the screeching sun. My clawfoot bathtub, my children stumbling around in English, racing down the hillside on their mountain bikes, my husband searching in vain for real parmigiano at the local supermarket. There I am forgetting to speak English to the store clerk, and she is cocking her head at my Italian babble. There I am getting a thrill from my new checks because they have bears on them! There I am strapping the garbage cans shut in the evening so that the real bears don't come down the mountain in the night and wreak havoc.


All of these images spin and blend and their colors run together, making up that mysterious thing that is me. I really am mysterious to my own self.


How am I? Happy I think. And very alive.


Am I settled? God, no. Never have been and probably never will be...


Am I missing anything? With a tiny twinge of guilt, I must say NO. No way.


Have I adjusted? To being me? Probably. For now.


All I can offer in honor of my new life in a blender is a new profile picture of me taken by my son. Now I'm smiling!


11 comments:

cathouse teri said...

I just wrote a very long comment and it got frozen up in blog world! Oh well, what I had to say apparently didn't need to be heard.

I'm with ya, babe! :)

Good to see you smile.

Carol said...

Sometimes life just bequeaths upon you exactly what you need.

Carol

JJ said...

Hello

I've just come here from Rebecca's blog. I love what I've read and seen and feel like I've come home - recognition - in some way. I'll definitely be back.

JJx

Jen said...

I think it's going to take a while... I'm glad you're happy. I think I'm just now fully ready to write about my experiences living in Russia and that was in 1987 - and I was there for just a few months...

Or maybe I'm just in a perpetual state of confusion ;-)

anno said...

It is good to see your smile.

Watch out for those bears.

If you're wearing flip flops instead of something in beautiful Italian leather, then you must be settled in. Or close.

There must be real parmigiano somewhere in Colorado. For an exorbitant price, he could also order it from zingermans.com
(http://www.zingermans.com/Product.pasp?Category=&Product
ID=C%2DPAR&Target=&ShippingAddressID=

Barb T. said...

I just spent the whole morning reading your blog posts when I was supposed to be working. I also started a blog to chronicle a move, although not an intercontinental one like yours. But it has languished for months as I got caught up in my new life. Now I am inspired by your blog to revive my efforts. Best wishes on adjusting to your new life.

jennifer said...

Oh Teri- I love your long comments! Another jewel lost in blog world...
Carol, I just love that you always stop by. Really. Thanks
Hi jj and Barb, I'm thrilled to have new visitors, and to distract someone from working.
Jenn and anno... don't you two live near each other? I'm jealous. Maybe we can have coffe sometime?

Greg said...

Whenever I travel, especially by plane, I feel as if I've arrived before myself at my destination. When I returned last April from Germany, after being gone only a week, I didn't feel as if I caught up with myself for at least 3 weeks! I imagined myself being blown hither and yon by the jet stream.

Rebecca said...

well - you've described 'how you are' perfectly anyway - 'showing' rather than 'telling' is so much more compelling and revealing. It's hard when you're right in the middle of 'your story' to make any kind of sense of it -


and bears?? real, live bears? Really???!! Is that scary?

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

Like Rebecca said "showing is better than telling" and what you showed us "about the matter" was in the end, quite deep!

I guess we will always get "the questions" that I myself never know how to answer!

Yes, it inspires us to think a little more, and try to make sense of it...

The art of an international life is it's complexity, which might defy "sense" to others, but that's its beauty :)

Brillig said...

Hey, look!!!! You ARE smiling! I'm so glad. Beautiful post, as usual.

 

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