Saturday, April 4, 2015

Seduced by Opportunity

When I wrote this post I was anticipating moving my family for one year. Revising the post after uprooting my family for a four year PhD program in the UK made me smile. 

I do not live without attachments.

I am not free to follow my dreams, wherever they lead unencumbered by the hopes of others, the responsibilities of realities, the tassels of life.

There are few of us so transient or selfish or lacking longitude and latitude that we are able to uproot our lives to spend a year seduced by words in a library.

I have children.  I have a job.  I have responsibilities.  I have one thousand and one reasons to say no. 

And, yet.

Yesterday, I submitted my proposal to be considered for a Radcliffe Fellowship.  If selected, I will spend a year researching the diaries, memoirs, letters and lives of five women and their relationships with mothers, daughters, neighbors, friends, lovers, strangers: the women who helped craft their lives.

I am seduced by words.

Yes, No, It’s over, I’m leaving, don’t go, don’t stay, good bye.

How can I not explore the worlds of these women?  How can I not read their beginnings, not celebrate or mourn their endings?

But what about your children, people will ask.

And I will stare, perplexed. 

Is it not understood that where I go, my children go?  Is it not customary that if I uproot my daughter from her high school bffs, my son from his middle school buddies, my preschooler from his accomplices, that I will replace said bffs, buddies and accomplices with a bunny, a snake and a dog?

And, so, it is with a clear conscience that I remind you, my fellow wait til the children get older to follow your dreamers, to apply for the Radcliffe Fellowship Program.

It’s a challenging process: proposals, samples, recommenders, family, ego, friends, work, psyche, bills, reality.

The last step is the easiest.

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