It's been a busy 24 hours, but I can say that a dorm room is cleaned, items are unpacked, a bed is made, and orientation has occurred. Before I left Connecticut, I wrote a final letter and wrapped one more gift: a box full of quarters I've collected around the house so that laundry will not be an obstacle. I left that gift, and a letter, on a pillow as we headed out of his room to meet with a friend.
This weekend, I've been trying to recall my own arrival to Binghamton, and what that transition was like (I can't imagine moving into a dorm room in such a tight space, but once upon a time it seems normal and desirable). I just remember falling in love with the adventure, and choosing the adventure to be a trajectory for my future.
One thing, however, that has been consistence, is a return to home - Syracuse - where the base has always been. This trip, the base was handed over to Chitunga (who now has enough quarters to do laundry - or play pool - his choice).
And I think I'm sort of exhausted. This was tiring: packing, traveling five hours, moving in, settling, arranging, seeing everyone, and then realizing, "Whoa. The Eagle is being left in 'Cuse, while the Frog is driving back to Connecticut without him."
It's beautiful. It's all good. Everything evolves at exactly the right time.
I've copied this poem to other blog posts in the past, but it seems appropriate to repost here. It is one thing to do the leaving and another to be the one that is left. Suddenly the first chapter of Siddhartha (and the ones towards the end) made much more sense. Cat Stevens. Father and Son. And Phew.
his leaving (a sestina)
~Bryan Ripley Crandall
he never turned back. packed his bags and left
beyond a circus and history in his pocket.
“goodbye, old world.” he promised. “i’m on my way now,”
and stepped on the gas to drive away.
that was when he was younger;
fledglings have reasons to leave the nest.
he walked onto his porch, today, & saw a bird fallen from nesting.
glanced at telephone wires to see if winged parents had left
this featherless embryo with its bulging purple eyes, so young,
and a beak open for insight (the creature could fit in his pocket).
youth fallen from its house, so quiet. he needed to find a way
to get the lil’ guy into shelter & now
seemed as good a time as any, he thought. the parents
were away and he climbed to the roof, found the finch’s nest.
the flight was his fault. in his world, it’s always
his fault, and he could never be sure how many days he had left.
he put the bird in the twigs, climbed down and put his hands in his pockets
to think about how vulnerable we are when young.
when he was younger,
he promised his family he’d be rich, but now
he made little -- crumbs -- and his pockets