Quiet and restlessness

It is in the quiet times that I am most restless, I have discovered today.


The day began in silence. I just recently moved to a new place on campus, the townhouses rather than the regular dorm on campus. I started moving the small things last Friday, when I received the keys, but the final move did not happen until Wednesday, when all of my large furniture arrived. I received some help, packing with friends, Tereza and her partner, Matt, but most of the heavy lifting was done with Donald over this past weekend. By Tuesday, when he came over late to help me with the last of the small stuff, I had already moved and unpacked much of the boxes.


I was happy to move to this latest place as the restless spirit within me had become antsy again a few months ago. I like my position. Enjoy my colleagues. I like living in the Bay Area, although I need to take advantage of that more. Still, my restless spirit found me looking at other locales. This move is an attempt to appease it.


It is in the quiet times that I am more aware of my restlessness. Even with this move and my distaste for moving, I found myself milling about this afternoon, searching for something to do. I made breakfast this morning – something I rarely have time to do – and did some work on the ebook for River of Words in my office. It is turning out EXTREMELY well, though I am only a quarter of the way to a first draft. So far, it includes a short video at the beginning with all of the pictures from the arts grand prize winners and finalists represented. After that, I went over to the graduation where I chatted with colleagues.


I realized that the close relationships that I had in Germany are hard to come by. While I do have good friends, I miss the friends that became sisters even more so in such social exchanges where the personal comes secondary to professional responsibilities and decorum.


While at the graduation, I found my mind wandering. In the graduation speech on the main speaker, I chafed at the mention of failure being a sign to try harder, as if there were no other reasons for failure such as institutional racism or unsupported learning differences. How dangerous such a sentiment might be to those who try and still do not reach whatever success is for factors outside of themselves. There was the moment in the valedictorian speech when she spoke of “Free Trade Fridays” rather than Fair Trade Fridays at the college. Very different things. There were also the lavender sashes of LGBTIQ2A folks, which speaks to the great inclusivity on campus and the self-knowledge and expression of those graduates. There was the woman in the audience who adjusted her hijab, loosed her hair without thinking and then covered it again in a floral patterned, black scarf. This is a shortened list of all I noticed. I suppose that this could be good, an indicator of being present within that moment … or is it another indicator of restlessness?


After graduation, there was the faculty luncheon, which was lovely. I sat and chatted with a friend from the School of Ed for much of it, before returning home for a nap.


In the end, the quiet times had me trying to fill them: playing the cello, now typing this while out to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant.


I wonder: how much of wanting to have a child is a desire to fill the stillness? Is that a good enough reason? Is that a reason of mine at all?


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