I was born under a mutable sign, meaning that I am comfortable with motion, that I can “go with the flow,” that I am mercurial, adaptable, changeable. I know it’s true, but I long for the will to tolerate stillness. I wish I could just stay where I am and be content with it. Going, moving elsewhere is an exhausting thought. I dread it every time, even when it’s just for an overnight. Because it always disturbs the little nest, the cocoon I’ve built myself over the course of hours, days, weeks. Every time I leave, it’s like I’ve never lived anywhere but in the limbo between here and there. It upsets equilibrium, it tires me out, it makes me feel alive. It’s always going to be who I am. If it’s not, something is wrong. Because it’s in the motion that I find my inner stillness. But sometimes I think I prefer the inner turmoil and chaos of just staying still in one place. It never lasts long. Our natures will have their way, whether we fight or not.
shugmanitou/a humble prayer to you for strength and light/to illuminate the dark faces of the lost gods among these southern hills
– Andrew Suknaski, “Sandia Man”
They never tell you about what you’re going to lose when you go away, when you get educated, when you go beyond the horizon that’s sheltered your entire life. They talk about what you will gain, what you will learn, how much you will grow. And it’s all true. But they never talk about loss, about what you can never get back once you’ve left it behind.
They never say, “once you leave this place, you will come back and know it better than ever before. But you will never wholly belong to it the way you once did. You will never feel completely at ease here again. You will never quite fit in, you will never be able to unlearn what you’ve learned, you’ll never reclaim the innocence that sheltered and protected you.”
Would I take it back? Never. Of course not. It’s better that I didn’t know what I would lose, for that knowledge would have overwhelmed the bits of courage that propelled me. I had enough inklings and fears as it was.
The more I learn, the less I know. But this I do know for sure: everything costs.
leaving home and shugmanitou/ the cry of the hounds/ drawing nearer
– Suknaski, “Leaving Home”