Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apples to Apples, Dust to Dust

Bainbridge Island, WA, looking west in February

Comparing apples to apples is tough.

The last time I left Seattle, Aurora had been born six months earlier. I had been in Seattle to hawk my wares at the Bellevue Art Museum's Fine Craft Show (in the parking garage). My sister had been flown out from Miami to help me with the show. It would be my last attempt at trying to take those monstrous Glaze Tectonics platters on the road. 

After three days at the show, we hadn't sold enough to cover our costs for getting there. As they announced the winners of the daily lottery (of sales receipts that we were required to turn in daily), my name was called. What did I win? I was invited back the following year with a free booth! And the woman who purchased the  one single platter we had sold the previous day: she got tickets for 4 to Alaska for two weeks. Yeah. Sour apples. 

The last time I left Ithaca, I was sure I would never be back. I was heading out to Utah for graduate studies in ceramics. I had it in my head that my professorship was a few years (and a lot of pots) away. I looked west and was certain I would never be back. Four years later, I found myself back in Ithaca, jobless, homeless, struggling through the early parts of my divorce, wondering how on earth I would ever make pottery again. Dreams shattered... depressed, but back in Ithaca. Sour apples.

This week the pendulum took another swing at my head. After spending five days in Seattle with Nancy and Aurora, all I want right now is to move out there and never look back. Totally unrealistic. Doesn't mean I don't feel that pull though. I have felt that pull from the minute I heard my very first ferry horn blast. Moving out there means letting go of all the things that have come to mean so much here. Right now, that is not only heartbreaking, it is impractical. It has taken me over a dozen years to find my place here. 

As Kevin Smith wrote in Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to be HERE today!" I never planned on coming back... but I have tried hard to find the beauty and soul in this place. The friends I have surrounded myself with here are phenomenal. 

What would I lose by leaving here?

What is it about my time in the Pacific NW that compels me to move out there?

How will we ever be able to afford moving out to Seattle when the cost of living is so much higher than here?

So how do I make apple pie from all of this?
I think by finding the things I loved about Seattle, while I am still in the Fingerlakes, will enable me to enjoy what I love here. I have great people, amazing moments of beauty, and a trove of resources I have never experienced anywhere else. At the end of the day, the comparison of apples to apples is tough. Thinking of it as apple pie somehow makes it easier.

Trumansburg, NY, looking east on a January morning.

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