Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wonderful Town

There was a time in my life when I couldn’t wait to get out of the Midwest. I deplored its mundane-ness, its suburban lack of luster. I applied to conservatories located only in or near big cities – two of them in New York. I ended up choosing Manhattan School of Music, excited to go the city I had dreamed of living in for years, thirsty for its hustle. I got here and was exhilarated by the energy of its fast flow, seduced by its bright lights and never-closing diners, and dazzled by its self-importance. I would return home for holidays, and get frustrated by what I perceived as the Midwest’s provinciality. When I moved to Houston, all I could do was fantasize about packing my things back up into boxes and U-hauling all of it back up to the restless, electric bustle of New York.

Visiting here in Manhattan for a long weekend to audition for various people, I find that what I am longing for is the soft gurgle of the fountain in our courtyard, to cook dinner for Jeremy in the tranquility of our kitchen, to look out at the trees from our living room window, to sit in one of the cafés in Montrose and quietly work on translating Il ritorno d’Ulisse, to have a game night in our living room with our Houston friends. Fighting people to get on the subway exhausts me, and I long to see a hint of plant life somewhere – something other than the ubiquitous grey that surrounds me.

I never thought I would question my desire to move away from Houston, but I find myself wondering: Am I really so different from before, and longing for a quieter, simpler life, or am I simply longing for “home” – my furniture, kitchen, Jeremy, friends, and regular haunts – regardless of where those things are?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh but when you are actually living here, it *is* home, and the gentler aspects of life become much more prominent. I don't think life in New York is really, intrinsically, more hectic than most other places (although I admit it would be lovely to have a fountain...). And New York is full of green things. You have to know how to look for them, but that just makes them more precious. On my walk to work this morning, I passed two flowering jasmine bushes and a flowering quince.