Monday, June 20, 2011

On transience.

This is one of those cliché essays from any number of writers who were at any time based in D.C.  The essay starts by discussing how each year, the U.S. capital attracts the best, the brightest, and the bushiest tailed (uhh...) who stick around for a few years before moving on to greener pastures.   Then the essay will lament for a few sentences about the transience of the city.  And by city, the writer is really
referring to one of the following: 1) one and a half quadrants of D.C., as the District is, like many cities, divided into quadrants, only one and a half of which really are occupied by a geographically mobile population; 2) Arlington, VA; 3) Montgomery County, MD; or 4) that town way the hell out at the end of a Metro line where your cousins live but yet they still refer to themselves as being from D.C.  So, naturally, at this point is where the writer makes that clichéd joke about how he's lived in D.C. for five years, which makes him a local, given how transient the city is.  Insert canned laughter.  Man, I feel bad for the two real locals that I know.

Although I've done stints in New York, Boston, and Seattle, I've lived in D.C. for well over a decade.  When I tell newcomers this, their eyes bug out.  I've often said that if one sticks around  here long enough, almost everyone passes through at some point.  The key phrase, of course, is "passes through."

This year, the first casualty of the transient nature of D.C. was one of my 2008 Ragnar Relay teammates.  The saddest thing about this team is that although in October 2008 we all lived within 15 or so miles of each other, now, less than 3 years later, only half of us are still here.  The most recent defection went down like this: one day the resident graphic designer who created the Turtleslugs logo for our Ragnar singlets was playing guitar at a house concert in Adams Morgan, and the next thing I knew, he'd tossed his guitar, MacBook, and running shoes into the Subaru, strapped the kayak on top, and he was off.  This was every bit as dramatic as I depict it, too.  Really.
Über-supported shoulderstand, during teacher training.

The second casualty will be one of my gal pals from yoga teacher training.  In a little over a week, she heads out of state for a bit before ultimately landing in Europe. Admittedly, I was one of the first people to initially leave D.C. after the training was over, as I drove out west to Seattle merely days after the final weekend.  But, I returned!  Whether my gal pal does the same remains to be seen, as she's got a fantastic journey lined up for her in Florence, Italy.  I'm sure that what comes her way will reboot her by offering a different perspective...sort of like inversions (hehe, a super forced attempt to make the photo relevant).

No matter how long I've been here, having friends leave the area never gets easier, even if they wind up in an awesome place to visit, like Florence.  Rarely does someone who leaves D.C. return, and I could spend a year just traveling around the continent, if not the globe, piecing together the friends that like threads woven together reflect the tapestry of my life.  Wow.  What a Hallmark-worthy metaphor.

Bon voyage, Bri.  I'll keep you posted on the latest about your favorite Iyengar teacher if you whip up some crazy Italian dish the next time you're in town.

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Check out Bri's musings at Sin Zapatos.

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