Living where you want


It occurs to me somewhat often of late that I am living exactly where I need to be, without on the one hand a sense that the trees are definitely greener and fruitier elsewhere, or on the other hand that where I am is absolutely ideal, my final destination, my last happy stop, or This Is It. Where I’m living is somewhere in between — and I like it. It suits me fine to know that one day — not too soon, not too distant — if the world still resembles what it looks like today I’ll be moving on. Most likely, that moving on will take the form of changing country. It will mean going abroad, overseas. And that is always stressful, even if you know the country more or less, speak the language, even have family there (in my case, family is largely a thing of the past and has nothing to do with my plans). Not to mention the fact that transatlantic moving is costly. Moving with a dog is even more problematic: we shall have to travel by ship, over several days. Staying put, besides being pleasant on its own merits, also has the benefit of being stable, cosily predictable, peaceful, and serene.

In addition, I know that I’m not rich enough to afford the sort of life abroad that is truly what I’ve always dreamed of. Which leads me to the the thought that, if I am honest, the place I dream about is probably closer to me in imagination than it is in any propinquitous real life. Perhaps I can best possess my ideal home by writing stories about it — by living with it in my mind. And why not? P. G. Wodehouse wrote stories set in England for decades — from his permanent home in Long Island, New York. You could say that I’m doing my own version of California Dreamin’, knowing that the ‘California’ of my dream is not perfect, the life away from it is so not-bad as to be very good, and that it may be some time before I get there.