Thursday, October 26, 2006
Back in Seattle
Visiting Seattle this fall is like eating a cheese sandwich with half a pound of smoked cheddar and a good thick spread of mayo on it -- all of your favorite things in great quantities, so good but so much that you feel like you should stop eating it because you must look like a pig but you keep on snarfing it down anyway, swearing that you won't buy anymore expensive cheese and fatty, fatty mayo, but then you do end up buying it and quickly and shamefully shoveling it into your gullet once again. What I'm trying to say here, folks, is that I miss Seattle something terrible, even though I know I should be loving my new life in Europe more. I'm crazy to want to squat in this gray city when I have a jolly little village at my feet abroad, right? SIGH. I *want* to love Sonderborg more than I do, and I sure as hell want to miss Seattle less. The leaves here are glowing, sparking golds and ultraviolet oranges. It's almost too much, and yet I can't look away. I actually have been scolding myself as I marvel at Seattle's beauty, feeling like I'm cheating on the cobblestones and water view "back home." I remind myself that I'm not giving Denmark enough of a chance, knowing that I'd probably happily and quickly re-pack my boxes and do an about-face if the right opportunity to move back arose. When I was twelve, after years of begging my parents, I got to go to camp on the mainland for a summer. I think I had been reading a lot of pre-teen "novels" and/or watching too many ABC After School Specials where kids went away to camp, and I REEEEEEEEALLY wanted to go. It looked fun, everyone was best friends, and they ate hot dogs that they had cooked on sticks over an actual fire. I wanted that. So, I got to go for four weeks. On my third or fourth day at Camp Chippewa Trail, I sent my parents the saddest, most tortured letter home, a la "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda." My mom remembers that letter well -- it started with this sentence: "WHY DID YOU SEND ME HERE???" I seem to recollect that I actually dripped some water on the page and wrote an arrow pointing to it, labeled "tears," for extra added effect. Anyway, two decades later, whenever I've whined about not liking something that I'd pined for, my mom always says to me, "WHY DID YOU SEND ME HERE???" And she's right. Within a week or so, you could not have ripped me away from the archery pitch, my groovy little slanted cabin, the canoes, the campfire circle, the horses, my new best-friends-forever (Liz? Tracy? I think...). THE POINT IS...it's going to get better, and I know I will soon love it. Leaves change color in Denmark, too.