Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Think My Spaceship Knows Which Way to Go

The Mermaid Girl has been listening a lot to the Langley Schools Music Project in the last few weeks. She says she likes that it's kids singing, and I think she likes the slightly spooky arrangements. One of the spookiest is their version of "A Space Oddity," which is a pretty eerie number to begin with. And so it was that a couple of weeks ago our bedtime routine included a discussion of whether Major Tom cut off his controls and floated out into space on purpose or by accident. MG thought it was an accident, and I didn't contradict her (nor did I try to persuade her otherwise when she said fervently that she never wants to be an astronaut).

But I'm not so sure about it; I've always thought he might have cut off those controls on purpose. Just to see what was out there, and what it was like to lose that tether to everything he knew, even though it meant floating out into space forever.

This is our third night in Vancouver. The Renaissance Woman and Mermaid Girl are asleep, and I should be, but my brain is buzzing.

We're in a limbo-ish state: officially,we're just visiting the city this month, house-sitting at two different houses in a beautiful neighborhood. We won't be declaring Canadian residency until we move up for real in late August. We haven't packed up our house, and we only came up with a few suitcases. It's hard not to feel like we're just on vacation.

But really, we've got one foot here: I've quit my job. Our renters will be moving in as soon as we get our stuff out. We're going to look at a possible rental apartment tomorrow. We need to open a bank account and get library cards and see about school registration and apply for jobs. So even though it feels like a vacation, it's not.

The whole last three days, I've had a strange disoriented feeling whenever we're out and about the town. And the more familiar the neighborhood, the more disoriented I feel. For the past seventeen years, this city has been the place where we went to get away, a beautiful refuge, slightly unreal. But it's about to be (if all goes as planned) the place where we live: where we work and commute and buy groceries and pay bills and deal with neighbors and complain about traffic and local politics. We won't be spending all our time eating sushi and walking by the beach in the West End; we'll be eating hot dogs and bagged salad in some relatively boring neighborhood with good schools. Our Vancouver friends won't be putting their regular schedules aside to see us whenever we're in town; we'll get together when we can, when our lives permit.

Basically, once we get settled, I don't expect the general outlines of our middle-class, middle-aged lives to change that much (though, who knows? they might). It's the details I don't know. I have no idea what that apartment will look like, or who our neighbors will be, or who will pick up MG after school, or where she'll be going to school, for that matter.

So, we're not lost in outer space; not really. We're not even moving more than a few hours' drive from our old home. But it feels like we're cutting off our link to ground control, on purpose. Everything is up in the air, and it's nervewracking and scary and exciting, the proportions of each changing hour by hour, and different for each of the three of us.

In a year, I'll know where we've landed, or at least more of it than I do now.

For this month, we're floating.


Anonymous Arwen said...

I also think Major Tom cut his own controls.

Welcome to Vancouver! Yay you!

I also went from visiting here to living here, and I'm glad of it. I hope this works out extremely well for all of you, and you float to where you ought to be. It takes awhile to establish, for sure.

8:02 AM  
Blogger bricktop said...

I'll second that, welcome to Vancouver!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

You won't likely be able to open a bank account without your permanent resident card and proof of address.

Library card needs proof of address, like a utility bill.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous crabcake said...

Longtime lurker coming out to say A) your blog is always fascinating and B)I'm with you on that one — Major Tom definitely went out on his own.

1:02 PM  
Blogger susan said...

It never occurred to me that Major Tom had anything other than an accident. I will have to re-listen. Blogs are so mind-expanding!

Enjoy the floating, as much as you can with all the changes going on.

2:33 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Happy belated birthday and happy floating!

9:04 PM  

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