Either my equanimity has improved or I am in shock. The transition, which often seems so surreal and disjointed has gone smoother than I could have hoped. Excepting my car breaking down, again, just as soon as it delivered us safely on my parents’ doorstep, I have felt few troubles. It is like slipping into a pair of seasonal shoes.
Of course, there are several distinct differences. I have not moved straight back into the hustle and bustle, the twenty-four hour quiet frenzy that is Architecture Hall. Instead my studio is on the forth floor of Old City Hall, a few blocks south of campus, in a leased space. I have not come back to pick up the reins of a familiar job, nor to reassume projects I left undone in the interim. Tomorrow, I will begin the simple, laid back life of an art gallery monitor. If the opportunity presents itself, I may pick up a few shifts in the Arch Hall library. Not things which generally stir my blood, but will help pay the bills.
And finally, I have little pieces of Shambhala following me around. Well, lots of little pieces, and one big piece, five foot eight inches to be exact. For the first time I have kept in touch, via the internet, with many of the friends I made there. More specifically, Chlirissa accompanied me home. She is spending a week on my couch before heading on to her own college in Vermont. It is very different to come back to Nebraska and yet still have someone who laughs at jokes about emptiness and basic goodness.
It is possible that soaking in the Dharma for a summer has better prepared me for this semester, loosened my attachments, changed my perspective, enhanced my compassion, and improved my equanimity. Yesterday, I noticed my shenpa when it came up while speaking with an acquaintance (more about shenpa in my next post for Practicing Peace). I reminded myself I had a choice in how I handled our interaction. Granted, it was still a bit strained, but at least I noticed.
So now I’m back to grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and playing with my cat. (The greatest shock thus far was being stepped on by soft little paws in the middle of the night.) I appreciate the loving, lived in, ornery, querulous nature of my family. I dislike the stifling humidity which comes with our summer heat, especially since I can’t turn on my air conditioner until the baby pigeons who are nesting against it grow up and fly away (I fear the noise would drive the mother away, since they’ve never nested there before). Otherwise, I enjoy being in my own home, with my own bathroom, my own kitchen, and my own feather bed.
I suppose it matters less where I am, so long as I feel what I am doing is worthwhile.