#131; Rilke says we’re to live the questions

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Rainer Maria Rilke

I saw Knight & Day today as an afternoon break from my job hunting – which is going, though neither slowly nor perfectly, I’ll admit – and I think it was exactly what I needed. The comedy, the action, the beautiful locales (Boston, Seville, Strasburg, D.C.) unplugging my mind (something I’ve been unable to do since the ‘official’ move); I came home after, took out a book, listened to some of my favorite D.C. music, and generally felt better about all of this than I have so far.

The real question I’m battling is why. Why have I done this to my life? Why did I leave everything I’ve ever known? Why am I starting over? Why do we make the decisions we do? I could have left D.C. years ago, but never did. I could have picked some place that I actually have an artistic or personal or professional connection to, but I didn’t. In moving, I have packed and unpacked and reorganized my entire life four times over the last three months – every photograph has been rehashed, old luggage has been jostled and slammed shut, all of my memories have been laid out before my eyes and I keep asking myself why.

Why somewhere new. Why Virginia. Sure, I have friends here but… I don’t know anything about the area, I had never once planned on moving here, I have no job prospects and no clue how long it can all last. In sorting through everything I’ve asked myself why not about every other place I love. Brooklyn, where a brilliant best friend of mine is running a state assembly campaign. Maine, where my nephews are growing up too fast without my consent or witness, where I grew up and so much of my family and contentment still reside. South Carolina, with my parents whom I love and friends I have made over their time there and a beach that I know like the back of my hand. Boston, with my favorite churches, my favorite crazy liberals, and the best sports on Earth. I think of bookstores I can get lost in for hours, scents that immediately put me at ease, music that fills me with the desire to do, be, live, love, and breathe deeply.

None of these things are in SoVA. I know that I had to leave D.C., and I’m still feeling out my emotions concerning the move in general, but I keep wondering why I did it like this. It’s not a negative question, but as I job hunt, apply to hopefully take music lessons of my own, and get to know this area as if opening my eyes for the first time — I wonder.

Perhaps it’s the heat wave rattling my brain. Maybe the movie today made me miss Boston more than I normally do. Or it could be, I’m just going crazy. Rilke said to live the questions, and Emily Dickinson said that she “dwelled” in possibilities – so how do you walk the fine line? Do you give it a go and pick up again if things don’t go as planned? Do you set timelines and make plans that must work out? Or do you just go nuts, with the questions and the curiosity swirling around you like dust to be allergic to, flies to swat at. I’m not sure, and so for now I’ll keep blindly groping, looking forward to wherever this adventure takes me, and whatever it is the next ones have in mind, too.

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