Saturday, November 30, 2013

creating a/broad, November 30, 2013

Don't Want To Stay Still
by Cameryn Moore

I’m never ready for coming to ground.


Why can’t I be ready? Why does this still surprise and shock and dismay me? Why can I not wind down ahead of time? It’s maddening. This is the fourth year of touring, the fourth year of flying fast and far—and this year I’ve flown, actually flown in a plane, which means the actuality supports the metaphor and I’m still feeling the tug from overseas, the tentative roots that I sank into British soil and that it sank into me. I performed my last show of the year two weeks ago, and have been moving slowly up the East Coast ever since, I mean, slowly, glacially moving northward, stopping and lingering with lovers along the way, and still my body feels like I am moving at warp speed, the way that people feel like they are still on a boat even after they have come ashore. The momentum of my travelling has settled into my cellular structure and now I feel as though I must still be moving, every muscle in my body wants to feel the forward hum of the car and know that I am still moving.

I stand here on the ground, on the pavement that is no longer rushing along under my car, a little wobbly on my feet, looking around. This is home? This is stillness? This is what people call staying in one place? It isn’t, really, by most people’s definitions. Five months is how long I’m staying in Montreal this time around. For most people that is barely enough time to winter-proof the potted plants; for me that is full-out long-haul living. And I’m never ready for it. I’m never ready for stillness.

How can you pour the foundation for a life, when the terrain is always shifting?

I don’t think I’ll ever be ready for it. I stopped with my lover in DC last week, my husband, in fact, and we talked and talked, for the first time, really, in a long time: about us and about his job search and the fact that I don’t know where the fuck any of my work is taking me at this point. We talked about my lovers and his lover, and we talked about ourselves as lovers to each other, and where we thought we were going, and among the truths that emerged was one that was no surprise, I think, to either of us: I want to keep travelling for a while yet. I want to keep moving.

This is no way to build a life, I think, in my darker moments, in my moments of envy for other people’s warmth and contentedness and domesticity. They have closets with stuff. They have more than one coat. They have sets of pots and pans, Le Creuset casserole dishes, Cuisinart bread mixers, raised garden beds and compost piles. They have double-glazed windows, instead of the one on the passenger’s side that keeps cracking open and letting in the draft as I careen around this country’s highways and byways, looking for places to put on a show. How can you pour the foundation for a life, when the terrain is always shifting?

I think I need a different metaphor for life.

If I wanted that life badly enough, I’d stop. If I loved any one person well enough, I’d stay. Hell, if I were successful enough at any one endeavour, I could afford that mortgage and put down roots and build my fan base locally and just settle the fuck down. This feels like the implication, not coming from my lover, but coming from all around me, so intensely that I often feel like I’m holding it back from inside my head by sheer force.

And I don’t want that.

I’m not implying that the people who do want that, who in fact do that, are wrong in their own choices. I’m not saying I have never wanted that and will never want it again. I’m saying that, for me, right now, moving is important. Staying still: not so much.

My path isn’t north or south

Even these short stops, the week-long or month-long or, oh god, FIVE WHOLE FUCKING MONTHS, it seems like too long, that there is somewhere I could be, performing for someone, there are people needing sidewalk smut or something that I could be providing. I can feel the invisible ties between me and all my cities tugging me this way and that. While I’m in one place, I can feel the beds being too small, or the rooms growing a little stuffy. I watch my burrows forming, of dirty clothes and paperwork and boots, and I think, no, I’ve been here too long. Gotta go, gotta kick that mess apart and pack it back up. Get out, go go go.

I think talking with my husband about this finally made it real. Right? He is the person that I am supposed to be life planning with, and yeah, I guess he and anyone else wanting to plan anything with me are just going to have to know and accept how I roll: frequently and far and sometimes without a lot of warning. 

Because it’s in me as surely as the migratory impulses in birds. My path isn’t north or south, I follow different electromagnetic currents, in different seasons, but I can feel them just as well. And even when I can’t feel them strong and clear, I can just feel the undifferentiated directional impulse vibrating inside me, at the base of my spine, in the soles of my feet, the rumble of the car engine, the white-noise rush of a plane. Touch down long enough to fill the tank, do my shows, wash my socks, fall in love, and then go.

I’m never ready to come to ground. Every place is just a layover on my way to somewhere else.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really stunning piece, Cameryn. Thank you for it.


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