Saturday, May 16, 2009

Linear time can be hard to accept. The pilot of DS9 is about that. Commander Sisko, unable to adjust to the loss of his wife, "exists" in the time and place of her death.

People live in the past and the future all the time. I spent my first three years in Seattle walking Patrick around Green Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods talking to him about the house we would buy when Daniel got out of grad school. Slowly, as the true scale of grad school became understandable to me, talk of a house got replaced by talk of a second dog, which was more attainable. Eventually, I had to give up on living in a future that felt farther and farther away. (After living here three years, I had a much more concrete sense of how long another three years would be.)

When this year and Daniel's job search started, the end seemed finally in sight. Only, it wasn't the end I had promised myself. Without any control over the situation, I had led myself to believe that there was at least a reasonable chance that Daniel could get a professorship in Oregon or Northern California. And I could go home.

But... With the current economy and grim job prospects everywhere, that hope grew dimmer and dimmer. First, the idea of having a choice of locations (hopefully including some I liked) fell away as Daniel only received interest from universities in places like Michigan, Texas, and Scotland. Then, the idea of leaving this limbo at all was struck down as Daniel changed his sights from tenure-track positions to prestigious postdocs. Meaning another two to three years in a temporary location.

I had completely accepted that this summer I would be moving to Pittsburgh, a place I have never, ever wanted to even visit. And then Daniel got an email from UO.

Because linear time is so hard to accept, I can barely believe that two weeks ago I lived in the uncertainty that I would ever get to move home to Oregon. I simply can't reconcile my memories of a self who expected to be dragged haplessly across the country with the self who gets to go searching for houses in Eugene this summer.

This self is much better.

No comments:

Post a Comment