The More Things Change…

Danny Thomas

By: Danny Thomas

Transience

Probably my favorite subject…

Bittersweet impermanence…

Love.

Loss.

Learning.

Changes.

I think there is something of a march to it, time.

But it meanders too, like a stream, or a cumulonimbus…

or a thought.

At times, maybe most of the time, it seems to go in all directions at once.

I returned home to a house we’ve lived in for less than a month,

After a two-week trip to the Pacific Northwest

And felt a strange mixture of emotions when I realized I was glad to be home…

and what that meant

now that home is here, in Moorhead, Minnesota

and not

The Pacific Northwest.

But it was a solid glad, an it-feels-good-to-be-breathing-this-air kind of glad to be home, an I-really-enjoy-the-look-and-feel-of-this-topography-and-I-recognize-it-and-feel-a-place-here kind of glad.

And that didn’t feel altogether good,

Because, up until that moment, there was really only one place that I felt that kind of glad to be home.

Man it’s hard.

Bear in mind that I was at the tail end of, like, a ten-hour travel day that included driving, flying, crossing at least one time zone, and more than a handful of meltdowns… also a very tall mojito…

So my mental state was one prone to a little philosophical, existential pondering.

(The trip was amazing and exhausting and heartbreaking and exhilarating)

Being with friends and family brought joy beyond description, meeting new people, new amazing families brought the thrill of adventure and the delight of new experiences…

I was sad about not getting to see some of my friends in Seattle and Eugene.

I was sad about saying good bye to the people I did see.

I was sad because, from now on, and for several years past,
Whenever I go back, to visit places I’ve lived…

Everything is or will be different.

Enough is the same that I am lulled into a sense of relief, comforted…

But then

I start to realize, I am not reassured

Entirely.

This sense that the footing is unsure, that what was is gone…

Well it’s just there.

It’s in among all the familiar comforts.

I had a thought today as my girl played for the first time in the neighbors’ pool supervised only by a pair of teenage girls among a family dynamic that is, in countless ways, foreign from our own.

The thought was this: losing one’s innocence, while it may be perpetual, is trifling when compared with the sting of seeing your children lose theirs.

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