a wandering woman writes

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Here's the thing

So here's the thing.

I am alive. I am well. I am also laptop-less, DSL-less and buried beneath boxes and paper and crinkled up packing tape.

And I am in Chicago.

I have a lot to write, and a long list of entries I've been eager to get writing, but it would seem I am meant only to check in today. A clumsy but lovable cat knocked a diet coke into my laptop a few days ago - the key word in that phrase being into, unfortunately -and it's inserting a long line of f's between every letter I type (hmm, I wonder what the poor gummed-up thing is trying to say? fffffffff...) and surfing round the web all on its own, hands tied behind my back. I've just greeted all the possessions that survived the 6 year wait in a warehouse in California, and while the powers that be have yet to hook up my internet access, I'm not the least concerned about the wait.

Some patient, calm, easily giggling and ridiculously slow- (and late-) eating bilingual woman has returned to Chicago in my name. If we can get her to blog regularly, whatever we decide to call this blog in its new incarnation, I think we're all in for a treat. Me and her included.

But first I have a lot of unpacking to do. So I'll leave you after a quick hello today, thanking you for checking on me, time and time again, thanking you for your e-mails, promising I will answer your comments and mails and questions as soon as I am technologically able.

A year ago today, I was walking the Camino. A few months ago, I made the difficult decision - and I have references for just how difficult I made it, if you're interested :) - to take on the challenge the Camino seemed determined to toss me for my next 45 years. Jung says the parts of ourselves we've left sitting on the bench for the first half of life come leaping out to play in the second. For me, that long walk across Spain was all the quiet time my benched selves needed to get their plans made. I moved back to Chicago in July, for a myriad of reasons I've no doubt you'll read here over the next few months, but most of all, for the chance to trade e-mails for live conversations. As much as I treasure the lifelong friends I've made in Spain, and oh, I do, the people who are most important to me still live in the States. And suddenly, at 45, after a fiercely independent life and a solo walk across Spain, I find myself bored with what I know so well - wandering, absolute independence, everything new every day, just as new and strange as I can get it - and eager to learn what I don't know -what it's like to stick around a little, invest in the people who have watched me wander all these years, hang with some kids who barely know me. I moved here for my people and the chance that they'll let me be an expat in my own life.

I'll be back Monday or Tuesday. Til then, thanks for the checking up and the patience. I hope you'll come back. I do have a story to tell!


  • Was wondering where and how you were. Thought you might be on your way back to the maelstrom. As I mentioned once- "Tap dancing on the backs of the lemmings" But best of luck. When you are back in Spain when we get there, come visit.

    By Anonymous John, at 12:18 AM  

  • It's nice to hear from you again. It must be cold in Chicago all ready.

    By Blogger Alfacharly, at 8:33 AM  

  • It's good to hear that you are well and alive. We were wondering what might have transpired. It's funny how the Camino begins and ends so many things. Best of luck to you in this transition and we look forward to reading more from you. Diane and Steve in Denver still not in Spain (but one step closer .....)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:31 AM  

  • So glad you are ok. I was in Salamanca a week ago and kept wondering if you were holed up somewhere....looking forward to the next chapter of your story.


    By Blogger Laura, at 5:23 PM  

  • The Camino is like that for most people, I think. What a wonderful story! I'm looking forward to reading what comes next.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:05 AM  

  • a-HA! THERE you are! Tracked ya down.

    I'm sitting in the Geneva airport, which, I must say, has the most uncomfortable seats I've ever had the dubious luck to encounter, I think my ass is now bruised, but that's another story, never mind, anyway...and was JUST thinking about you and decided to check in to see if you blogged. Sorry I missed you while I was in the US - will be back around in December/January (you see? you have passed on the wandering mantle, ma'am).

    Email me if you get a chance...xoxoxoxoxoo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 PM  

  • Erin, when Di told me you'd returned to the States, I couldn't believe it! Hope all is well and your adjustment period goes smoothly. xo

    By Blogger paris parfait, at 1:56 PM  

  • It's been interesting reading of your experiences in Spain. I wondered what had happened when it all went quiet on your blog.

    Well, Chicago, eh. The windy city. Hope you settle well and look forward to catching up with you again.

    By Blogger LadyLuz, at 8:48 AM  

  • I'm glad to hear you're well. And I'm dying to hear when and why you decided to leave Spain and to return to Chicago. Especially given that I'm thinking of moving to Spain myself, I'd love to hear your first hand account of the reasons you left. But I'm glad you're doing okay and are back home with friends, family and the familiar. Are you looking forward to winter in Chicago?

    By Anonymous Sandra77, at 2:18 PM  

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    By Blogger Kimberly A. Suta, at 8:50 PM  

  • Wow - so how is it to be back? What made you leave? Did you leave Spain or did you return to the states?

    By Anonymous Cascade, at 2:23 AM  

  • John, i've got me a path here that's avoiding lemmings all together. :) I've got to listen to that little voice you know, even when she seems to defy logic. :)

    Alfacharley! How are you? It is snowy in Chicago, is what it is. I'll surf over and catch up with what you guys have been up to now that i am back online.

    Thanks all of you for all these kind words. I'm in Chicago all this week - after a couple of months of solid travel broken only by frantic utensil buying, box unpacking and wall painting - and will come back here and tell you all how i wound up where I am - and how oddly right it feels to be here.

    Cascade, I did neither. I'll weave it all in a post, but the Camino changed all kinds of things for me - changed things I am still struggling to get used to - and it left me sure I needed to choose one place or the other. I could have easily lived happily ever after in Spain. But I chose here -- and the people who've watched me wander for a long time. Chicago's stretching all the right muscles...

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 6:29 AM  

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