In Which November is a State of Being

So that you can all rest easy, I did in fact get to register last Friday. We went in and, after queuing to get another ticket, we were sent directly to a station to register instead of having to wait for a new number to be called. Major relief. All in all, it only took five hours and forty-five minutes. It was a bit of an ordeal. But now I have my fancy GNIB card and can leave and enter the country at my leisure. I so sincerely pity those who had longer waits.

In that vein, here is a cat picture to make you feel better.

Camaro2015-11-4She’s such a blob. But so precious.

Also, today is Guy Fawkes Day, which apparently some people celebrate here, unexpectedly. Probs just because fireworks. Real into fireworks here. Remember, remember the fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.

Anyway, onward. This week was pretty good, generally speaking. There was white chocolate raspberry cheesecake at community group, tasty and cheap Thai yesterday for dinner, and a wonderful fireside get-together with my classmates on Sunday which included a lot of delicious desserts. I’m grateful that this week wasn’t a disaster. You may recall, however, some additional meaning to this week being good in reference to the second post I wrote in Ireland. So now seems like an appropriate moment to take stock of my time here thus far.

Moving into this house, organizing school stuff, figuring out immigration, and setting up a new life stage were trying, and at times irritating and disheartening, experiences. In many ways, though, I have settled into life in my little corner of Dublin with remarkable swiftness. My first Sunday I found a church which I am happy to say provides the home, relationships, and growth that I need. When I did finally move in, my housemates proved to be lovely people with whom I get along swimmingly. The first week of classes I also started choir which provides a much-needed outlet as well as new friendships. I quickly came to see the people in my course as friends beyond the companionship of shared coursework. And, in the days immediately before the beginning of this month, I both finished everything to do with immigration and finally figured out how to get American Netflix. What more can one ask before they feel settled?

So it is that I find myself at ease in calling this place home. Not home in the sense of I could stay here forever and be comfortable with this place as a long-term residence, not yet (or, maybe, ever). But home because I more than function here, I really live my life. And, of course, as Captain Hammer wisely said, “Home is where the heart is, so your real home’s in your chest.” Anatomy aside, home is where your heart is alive. Having lived in DC and, briefly, St. Petersburg and Exeter, I can say that finding home is rarely straightforward, often difficult, and fairly temperamental. And, at times, exquisitely fragile. But it remains that once found, that sense of home comes to be the guiding feeling whereby we stride across the varied terrain of life.

So there you have it, November as a state of being. It carries something of the hearth to remind us of home, bringing us close to friends and family–even if remotely and sometimes reluctantly. It asks us to breathe in the wet and cool and decay, leaving it to us whether to dream of spring or ruminate on the tired foliage of increasingly barren trees. November imparts something of the season which, while excluding Thanksgiving here, retains some sense of the goodwill-toward-men, tremblingly close to the peace-on-earth of December.

Recognizing the limitations of prose in describing this state of being, and in acknowledgement of the tremendous autumnal poetry in existence, I will conclude each post this month with a poem. Having heard that only partially stiffled sigh of displeasure, I will remind certain of you that you are under no obligation to read more than you wish. But for those of you who are inclined, I hope you will enjoy my selections. If you don’t, though, I don’t really care 😉 To begin, a poem that captures the sense of not-quite that November epitomizes. I think it’s really lovely and it certainly fits the atmosphere of today.

November for Beginners — Rita Dove
Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.
So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,
memorizing
a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool. Pour,
rain! Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!
November 1981
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2 thoughts on “In Which November is a State of Being

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