Tuesday, May 20, 2008

London Revisited

After Ireland, I spent this last week in London and saw a whole bunch of people I love and missed a whole lot of other ones because of time constraints, and saw the first copies of my book. I just got back and now I have a headache, but it was worth it.

London still holds a strong and significant place in my life, even though I haven't lived there in six years and I actually got lost trying to walk from Oxford Circus to Covent Garden yesterday. (This was demoralising. And I didn't have an A-Z to help me out.) London is the place, I tend to say, where I became an adult. Not necessarily a mature one (maturity might be an attribute my possession of which is still debatable. But it's okay. I've got the convoluted grammar down). I've changed in some ways since then, and there are plenty more ways I dare say I should change. But I still feel like that was the beginning of it.

So going back is kind of bittersweet. The first time I went back after moving to the States, I felt like everything was all wrong, and London was my home, and why was I not permitted to live there anymore? The next time I went back, I felt like I was in a place I had never been before--but where I knew exactly what to expect. This time I feel like I could move back. Or not. (Most likely, according to the Home Office at this point, not.) It's both hard and easy to imagine moving back and slotting into the same neighbourhood and churches that I worked in and with before. And it's equally hard and easy to imagine moving back and living and working somewhere else.

And meanwhile, I still haven't found a new job.

I have a lot of posts built up in my head since probably January. They're going somewhere, I think (kind of like me), but I'm not quite sure where (also kind of like me). Bear with me while I keep trying to figure it out.

8 comments:

heather said...

"London calling to the faraway towns
Now that war is declared-and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls
London calling, now don't look at us
All that phoney beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we aint got no swing
cept for the ring of that truncheon thing"
That's what I now have stuck in my head.

Jenn said...

Um, yeah . . . "London calling" was going to be the title of my next post maybe . . . ;)

Scott R. Davis said...

the ditty in my mind is London bridges falling down. london bridges falling down.
Not very biblical but thought I;d share some lyrics that were in my head.

Hope that starbucks is doing well for you. scott

L.L. Barkat said...

I loved London. Somehow it makes me think of tulips. I can't explain that.

Jenn said...

Scott--that's kind of like my house in the next post, I guess!

Jenn said...

LL--uh, nope! I can't explain that either. ;) But I love tulips, and London, too, so I guess there's that . . .

Jeff said...

I was shuttled back and forth between one parent in Massachusetts and one parent in California. I grew to love both places in quite different ways. I'm to embarassed to admit how old I was when I gave up the fantasy that I might get all of my favorite people from one place to move to the other place, so that everybody I cared for would be close at hand. I didn't really get, back then, that the people were only part of it. It was also the speed of life, the smells, the way the sunlight felt on my skin...

Even after marrying we did a little bit of back and forth. (We tried Massachusetts once for six months, gave up, moved to Ca. for a year.) It's only now, many, many years later that where I live feels like home... completely. Unfortunately, (maybe) California feels not at all like home.

I've come to believe that we're made to be geographically monogomous. We've only got enough of something to commit to one home. We can have two places that feel halfway like home, I suppose we might have three places each of which we can feel 1/3 at home at, etc... Given this realization that I now have, I wish that I had just flipped a coin, several years back, just chosen one home, either home, and comitted myself to it, stuck with it.
Maybe I'm unique, maybe I'm overthinking it... but those'r my 2 cents.

Jenn said...

Jeff--I think I actually disagree with the geographical monogamy thing, although I think some people are more nomadic than others. In most of my experience, being missional has involved pulling up stakes on a more or less regular basis . . . I appreciated your story, though, and do agree that sometimes you have to stop longing for some other place and just dig in to where you are.

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