A recent graduate of a master’s program in environmental studies, I now find myself at loose ends. What’s next? I struggle with the basic questions: How to make a living? Where to make my home? With whom to surround myself?
I write, but have not as yet found a way to earn a living from my writing. Any wealthy patrons out there? (echo, echo)
I’ve lived all over the world. The list is a long one: Heron Lake, Wisconsin; West Berlin, Germany; Aleppo, Syria; Fairfax, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Cairo, Egypt; Ramallah, Occupied Palestinian Territories; Denali National Park, Alaska; and now Missoula, Montana. As a result of living in and loving so many places, I’ve never been quite sure WHERE home is, and that continues to be a preoccupation and one focus of my writing.
My community in Missoula is made up of several circles of smart, creative, ethical people, including my sister (and roommate). I meet with a group of friends for a weekly supper club, and spend a lot of time with several more close friends. A bunch of my grad school cohort is still in town, and we meet for beers and potlucks when the mood strikes. In short, I am wealthy with friends. When I think of leaving Missoula, where I have lived for over four years, this community is what holds me here.
As I consider these questions, in various states of optimism, depression, excitement, and dread, I try to pay close attention to the quotidian. The small moments which so easily pass without notice, they make up the bulk of my life. And ordinary as it is, this, right now, in all of its uncertainty, is my life. This light filtering through the tree branches through the dusty window screen to my desk, this is worth noting. That magpie perched on the spruce, long iridescent tail bobbing as it squawks its presence ungracefully to the world, it is worth hearing.