In one week I leave home - you know, the one I just got back to - for three months.
I guess I'm easing slowly into this first real stab at having a home in a couple of years. Two years ago I left the Bronx, put my clothes and books in storage and followed up with five tours and time spent in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Chicago. I made a big racket about Chicago being my new permanent home but others evidently knew me better than I knew myself.
"Bullshit," said Nick DiNardo. "Blog me in six months."
I hate when Nick is right
So about this idea of transience versus presence: I say I don't want to be on the road more than I'm off and that this whole roadie thing is a happy accident and possibly temporary. Then I notice that last year I was on the road more than I was off. I'm now starting my third year in this work and getting job offers and it's easier to justify taking them than turn them down.
People tell me that they or their husband or friend always said they didn't want to be a roadie for life but twenty years later there they are, all jacked up on whatever particular buzz it is that keeps them moving.
What I want to know is how to balance imbalance? Feel present when so many days are just about moving forward and going elsewhere? How to have time to make routines and spaces and relationships comfortable?
"How do you balance it?" I once asked a tour manager.
"You don't," he answered without pause.
I'm glad I'm back for another year of the American Idol tour but there are plenty of moments I've thought with regret, "Yeah, I'd be doing/planning/signing up for/getting into/checking out whatever except I'll be gone all summer, so that will have to wait."
But if everything is always waiting, what am I left with? I'm left returning in September to great yawing voids of places that still doesn't feel homey, despite my incredibly fluid ability to feel at home anywhere. My lack lies in STICKING AROUND. Home for a day or a month isn't the same as home for the long haul, whatever that is.