I am wondering if I should even attempt to write this post now. Right now, while the big end-of-conference Dance Party rages on in the Student Union building outside my windows, I am busy packing. Yes, I went to the party for a while, but I knew when it was time to leave (a gift of insight that comes to you in your 40s, I believe).
It will take me a while to process all that this week has meant to me intellectually, emotionally, and even spiritually. I have slept better, have had fewer bouts with IBS (yes, ladies and germs, sometimes your Pine Curtain Refugee gets sudden, explosive diarrhea brought on by stress. Deal with it. I have to.), have been more inspired by and engaged in life than I have in how long, I can't remember. But the biggest feeling I've had all week is peace. Peacefulness that can only be achieved when your primary duties of each day involve writing, talking about writing, listening to people talk about the craft of writing, reading, listening to people read, and writing down lists of books and writers you want and need to read. That, my friends, is a version of heaven that perhaps few can understand. The only thing that would've made this heavenly vision complete would've been to have my family and pets with me, some really good Tex-Mex at arm's length, and maybe not so much cigarette smoking.
Am I ready to go home? Yes and no. Yes because I am literally aching for The Geej. This is the longest we've ever been apart, and although I've talked to that little monkey every day on the phone, all I want to do is tickle her knees and squeeze her guts out. Yes because I want to tell BH all about it. I want him to see how happy I am. I want to make out with him. Yes because, as dorky as it is, I miss communing with my silly pets each day. Looking into their eyes. Feeling their fur. Laughing at how incredibly goofy they each are.
But no, because what I'm going back to is relentless, 100+ degree heat and an historical drought. Green things burned up and ready to ignite with the smallest flame. A house I'm tired of living in that needs new carpet, paint. Air conditioning. TV. The ridiculous amount of email and other stuff I'm going to be faced with when I walk back in to work.
I am sad.
But so much more than sad, I am grateful and humbled by the experiences I've had and the knowledge I've acquired. I am filled with confidence and a dazzling desire to write write write.
I am already thinking about how and if I can come back here some time. I am already putting "yes" out there into the universe.