Take it easy

14 06 2013

Another dream about Madison.

It was so vivid, but, of course, it’s now all faded. I was in Madison, with T., in the Union (which, of course, was nothing like the actual Union) and near Lake Mendotat (which, of course, was nothing like the actual Lake Mendota: in my Madison dreams the shoreline is a coastline and lake scallops are oceanic waves), and when I awoke, I was so sad that I wasn’t living there.

Living in that dream-Madison would be so easy; I missed the chance of that Madison-dream.

Of course, that’s just what it was: a dream. Madison is a lovely town (when Scott Walker ain’t around, but it’s no longer for me. I may visit it again on my next sojourn to Wisconsin, and I set a part of my second novel in Madison, but as a real place, it’s not mine.

Part of this is my sense that to live there would be to ‘go backwards’, but more than that, I would always be looking for something beyond what Madison could offer.

This is not a knock on the joint: I’m restless, full stop, and thus unable to indulge he pleasures of staying put.

Then there is the fact that I am made uneasy by ease. Even assuming an identical level of financial uncertainty there as I have here, life in Madison would be easier in every way. You know those t.v. shows or books wherein newcomers are able to find a rich & quirky community life, with beloved hangouts and folks willing to tell-you-what? That would be possible in Madison.

Which is why I can never live there.

Okay, I could live there for a time—for a semester, maybe—but the idea that I would land there and stay there and stay there and there. . . no ma’am.

I’d wonder what I was missing, not just in the what’s-going-on-elsewhere way, but in the sense that ‘this is too easy: what’s the catch’? I always think there’s a catch.

I’m too skeptical, even suspicious, to live easy. This is not a wholly bad thing—looking for something more has its own rewards—but I miss out on the pleasures, and, perhaps, sorrows, of letting it be.

There is a whole other life which is beyond me, a something more available only to those who aren’t searching for that something more.

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6 responses

14 06 2013
BJ

Is that the reason I can’t live in that wonderful place? It’s “going backward”? To me it feels like it’s no longer mine. There’s no party at Harry’s House and no band at the Rock and Roll Station (gone) and Union South isn’t even Union South any more. And no old dorm mates walking by, and old high school friends aren’t working the cafe…it’s a great place, it’s just no longer “my” Madison.

Maybe all “going backward” places are like that.

14 06 2013
dmfant

yep I too live in that non-place, another uncanny aspect perhaps of gen-x syndrome…

14 06 2013
15 06 2013
15 06 2013
absurdbeats

@BJ I still love Madison, even though it’s no longer ‘my’ Madison, as you put it, but maybe because the echoes are still there. That’s the going backwards part: I’d be chasing echoes.

Even without all of that, though, I don’t think I could live there. I don’t think I could really appreciate what it is, and what it offers.

@dmf Perhaps. I used to call us the ‘un-generation’—unlike the Boomers, we were (un) defined by what we were not.

16 06 2013
GeekHiker

The funny thing about places we used to live in and have left, I’ve discovered, is that that we have a tendency to freeze them in time at the moment of our leaving. The Madison you left behind may or may not be the Madison that exists today…

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