Juxtapositioning

words are foreplay for the soul
November 11th, 2008

the other shoe is dropping

When I crossed the border into Canada in August, I had an uneasy feeling. No, “uneasy” doesn’t even begin to describe the deep-seated FEAR and sense of FOREBODING I had. After all, there I was with my car full of everything I owned, and as far as official-Canada was concerned I was there to be a tourist. Pretty fishy.

Last night Matthew and I returned from California and Oregon. I knew the border thing would come up again. Our plan these past several months was to at some point be able to show Canada the seriousness of our relationship and apply for me to be a permanent resident here. I had checked into the matter on immigration websites and forums. We asked Matthew’s attorney-dad about it after I got here. All the answers came back: wait, and it will all work out. I abandoned my feeling of fear and foreboding and tried to feel at home here. I even bought a fucking iPhone (three-year contract! doesn’t that spell “seriousness”?).

So last night at the border when we were asked to park our car to the side and enter a brightly-lit building, I thought it was going to be about the shoes we bought, or the three bottles of alcohol we declared (one bottle over the limit).

No. It was about me.

Canada made it clear that they’d like me to get the hell out, and soon. They don’t like the fact that we’re in a relationship. If I had LIED and made up some story, things probably would have been fine. The irony. I was all about integrity and truth. I knew that one day Immigration would be looking at my conduct at the border and I didn’t like the conflicting messages: “Yes, border guard, I’m here as a tourist and I am going to leave,” vs. “No, Immigration Officer, I’m not a tourist and I don’t want to leave and in fact I want to stay here permanently.”

And the thing is I don’t even CARE about Canada. I mean, it’s fine and there are many plusses about it and I like living here, but I am not here for the free health care, you know? I’m here for Matthew, and he could be living anywhere and THAT is where I would want to be.

So I still have no home. Weird.

September 18th, 2008

Hinterland

I just received an email about a spiritual conference near San Francisco that months ago I promised to attend.  I wanted to be one of the presenters for the conference but they already had a full slate, so I contented myself with agreeing to attend for nearly-free and volunteering to help out.  There are a number of networking opportunities there, and I am a firm believer that nothing is ever wasted (even though I am a champion self-time-waster).

Then it hit me.

To get there, I will have to leave Canada.  Cross the border.  Enter the real world.

I’ve been using this feeling of semi-unreality as a way to remain safe.  It’s like living behind glass.  A world-within-a-world.  Time here stands still, while outside it [presumably] continues.  I like it here despite how disorienting it was when I got here.  It’s so much a different world.  Everything that connected me to my old world is gone, sold, given away, or in the few remaining boxes that traveled 4000 miles with me and got immediately stashed in a closet when I got here, still packed.  In the place of all those things and all the memories along with them that connect me to the life I used to live and to the people who lived it with me are new things.  New clothes.  New hair.  A new look.  A new focus.  A new rhythm.  New energy, new routines, new people.  It truly is a different world.  Nothing is the same, except for me.  And even I have changed, now a reflection of the newness I stepped into here across the border and all that came before to get me here.

I’m a little afraid to leave.  I have found things here to hold onto.  Crossing the border means crossing back into that old world.  The feeling of surreality I have been living, one lengthy vacation from reality, will be shattered.

There’s no answer to this, beyond breathing.  Continuing to breathe when you are immersed in slight panic is about all you can ever do.