Thursday, November 07, 2013

Beginning of November Reflection

I leave for Sofia in an hour. One night in Sofia. Then a weekend in the mountains. Then the GRE.

Oh the GRE. I've been studying for a few months. If nothing else, I can say that I'm consistent: the score I started with is the score I'll end with. Almost no change in months of practicing.

The start of November was a good one. I don't know what it is about the turn of October into November but it is a change like the changes of April into May. One season quickly falls into the other with scarce days in between.

November is a yellow month: yellow light fading towards winter white, yellow leaves falling in night time rains.

Dobrich is changing to me. I didn't mind it when I first arrived--it was new. Then, I spent a month wondering how I would establish a life here. Now, 2 months (how impossibly short!) after moving in, its changed into a place I know I can be. This past weekend assured me of it. I spent time with a new friend, was promised a cat "on loan" whenever I want it, learned about volunteer work in the community, and danced. Routine. Order. A comfort and chance for creativity!

I'm used to looking back at this time of the year. I'm starting my habitual evaluations and ruminations over where I've been and where I've come. This time, I can hardly chart the changes since July. My memory seems to hold moments pre-flight across the ocean a little more clearly than they do any event in the last few months. Perhaps this is because I have shared many of these moments with myself alone.

Introversion has been the name of Survival. Strange that it would be this way. I've spent significant time alone and in my own thoughts since coming to Bulgaria. Even my new friendships I've experienced alone.

And I've done less writing than previously. I'm trying not to question this too much. But I'm watching it sit there and I'm wondering what it should be and where it should go.

Some days this matters to me in a tragic, there-is-no-more-meaning-to-my-life kind of drama. Others, it's exactly the recipe for starting over that I ached for last Spring.

Perhaps, all of this is just to say that I've been alone and being alone makes you think about the person whose presence you spend the most time in: your own. While I doubt any substantial changes to the "essence of Dana" will take place this year, there are other things that are more up for discussion. I see now that some of the words I used to describe me have no meaning over here, or they take more explaining than their worth. And other words were significant only to me and I now wonder what I meant by them or how true a story they tell about me now and about who I will be.

For example:  I've done less writing than previously. Too much inquiry into why wouldn't be helpful. But I'm watching Writing sit there by my desk and I'm wondering where it should go. I'm also watching it, surprised, when it decides to hold a conversation on occasion, usually at the breakfast table or after a long walk.

Who I will be is clear: Dana. I'm me and there isn't much I can do to change that. Not that I really want to. But other things may be changing: the scarves and garbs of place and occupation Dana chooses to don and what words she will use to tell herself about these trappings.

I might not get to the blog too much in the next few weeks. My current quiet life will suspend itself due to visiting company! Robbie arrives in Sofia tomorrow. I've been waiting for this visit since I got on the plane in July. I'm so grateful that graduate school and lab time and Bulgaria and November tickets all arranged themselves as needed. He is the first person I will get to introduce to Bulgaria the way I was introduced by friends last summer. It's an easy measure of love for a Place to watch how one introduces it to a new acquaintance. I'm glad for the chance.

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