Sunday, September 23, 2012

Trouble in Paradise

Themes of conflict abound. Literally. What story does not affect us? No matter where we go Man is against nature, society, one other, the supernatural, mechanization, or himself. Caught in the chaotic coincidences that imbue our lot, how do we learn just to flow with our fate? Embroiled, surrounded, affected by, and up against odds, old habits persist, or perhaps not. Perhaps we are afloat on the seas of troubles, adrift, or are we buoyed? Perhaps we are on course, wind at our sails, or are we beleaguered? Whichever way we choose to look at it, here in the troubles of paradise, heaven is a choice of attitude.

The weather has been wonderful. For almost two years we've been on the move. Four houses. Packing. Loading. Driving across two provinces, last with a 17 foot U-Haul driven by 28 year old stepson Keith, and my loaded 4x4. West, man. West! Driving both ways. 15 hour drives. A one and a half hour ferry, both ways. There to Here; back There to Here. Five times. We had no trouble with weather. Despite one trip with others in ditches, friend Ken driving. But the big move of the last two months? Weather has been wonderful. Just a sacrifice of long lost mornings or glorious afternoons of extended walks in the sunshine. We had work to do! We have work to do. We are inside stores or in the car or in the apartment always doing something, instead of our being outside in the sun. Or at least, for me, set in some shade by a beach-nut tree. By evening we are just too tired to move. Oh woe!

Society has been great. Kismet occurrences of friends turning up at just the right time to help pack, unpack, load or unload have been miraculous. Friends relaying our moving news to find us great renters, bringing us goodies, carrying our stuff, carting away our unwanted, and ensuring our comfort has all been such a rewarding experience. And the caretakers in both buildings and the new tenants and the new neighbors have all been so very pleasant. But what about my lack of communication? What about the friends I've deserted or am losing touch with? How do I possibly sustain the momentum of contact?

Then there is still An Other, close or away, whose long-ago furious face or hurt in voice comes haunting to pull the rug out from under one's feet. A pity. It'd be nice to see them, to ask for forgiveness. Being here in Paradise neither absolves one of the past nor let's one entirely forget little stupidities. And the guilt, shame, regret, perpetuates. Forgiven?

Ghosts in bad dreams still wakes one from sleep too, though below the window the surf soughs gently and the moon can glisten on the sea. To sleep, perchance to dream, but the boogieman lurks in the corridors of the mind. Even in paradise dreams are not free.

Problems with internet and wifi and computer and telephones and clock batteries and the cable company and car service and finding chargers for the electronic equipment and the renovation hassles and too much stuff and the new furniture not fitting an elevator do discombobulate.

But worst of all is the self. Moodiness in paradise happens. Disgruntled moments. Fear lurks. Impatience arises. Pettiness and selfishness and petulance persists. One is not perfect. It would be great to think that location-specificity can produce a platform from which there be no more sea of troubles, no more gauntlet, no more pain, but... Being human in Paradise persists. The halo is tarnished; pleasure is fleeting. Like driving, one must concentrate on the now by now; just enjoy the process too. Relax! Enjoy the view!

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