Monday, July 10, 2006

carolina in my mind

hey y'all. i'm back from a week away in asheville, nc, with salimah and my folks. sorry for not writing sooner, but frankly, i needed 24 hours to just sit with myself back in this city once again before really interacting with the blog world. to be honest, i'm super bummed to be home. in fact, the concept of 'home' changed for me while i was away. i started to feel like our little mountain cabin was where i should be starting each morning and ending each day. and other than inadequate lighting on the first floor and poor cell phone reception, the place was simply ideal. warm, comfy furniture, wood everywhere (even my bed was made of logs!), quiet surroundings, lovely view (all trees). oh, how i miss it already!

i have never needed a vacation quite like i did this one (and i know salimah felt the same). i didn't miss anything of my real life and forgot, even, that i had asked a friend to check my mail. when she called to let me know she'd done it, it took me a full 30 seconds to figure out what she could possibly mean. now, to be fair, i also may have been in a nyquil haze (yes, kids, i got sick AGAIN while i was down there, and this time, it was BAD), but really, my world view had changed.

i journaled a bit while i was down there. tried to encapsulate bits and pieces of moments. perhaps i'll share them here, perhaps not, but suffice it to say that amidst the touring around, eating of yummy food, and learning about various aspects of our nation's history, i gathered up the crumbs of disappointment i'd been carrying around in the pockets and folds of my clothes, and i sprinkled them onto those mountains...left some things behind...let them go - i hope - for good. and in their place, i picked up bits of the smokies, the mountain air, the peace all around me. i drenched myself in it. i drank and ate and breathed it in until it seeped from my pores.

and two days out from the experience, i'm still carrying carolina around with me. i can still smell the cabin's wood on my clothes. my voice still holds a bit of the lilt i love so much. my speech and thoughts are slower, more at ease. i want to hold onto that place...to those mountains...and all the smells, sounds, feelings, thoughts, dreams, jokes, tastes - all of it.

in the coming days and weeks, i'm sure that baltimore will seem more like home to me again, but if you're really looking to find me around, know that i'm not so much here anymore. i'm in a little cafe drinking chai, reading a used cookbook, eating a piece of decadent, handmade chocolate, gazing at the mist over the mountains, and talking to some lovely southerner with miles of stories to tell. yeah, that sounds just about right to me....

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