Linguistics is really not making me feel good right now. Performing analyses of verbal paradigms in the Basque language of the western Pyrenees is taking up most of my time and all of my energy. In the introduction to his 1988 grammar, Mario Saltarelli suggests that my thinking is crude; I have a hard time reading the rest of the book. My eyes are doing weird things. I am seeing yellow spots on what used to be pristine white printer paper, and translucent shapes are drifting across my field of vision. My computer seems distant. How can that be? It's right at my fingertips.
Europe, also, is distant. I hear it is snowing there. That they're having another record-breaking cold winter. That this winter, at the beginning of December, is already putting the last one to shame in measurements of snow. This winter is trivializing the last winter I suffered through in layers of tights and wool socks and heavy boots. I am straight-up jubilant to be in California this year.
Even though I don't want to be living there, there are things I miss about Scandinavia. It is cheesy to say that my heart aches, although if I write my heart aches you will know what I mean and if I tell you that the pang of missing is kind of melting me from the inside out, but from only one side and working up, across my chest, towards the other side, from my hips through my chest to my neck - I might have already lost you. That is what this missing feels like. It is not nostalgia. It is not sugar and butter. It will never be candy. It is just dull and soft like clothes you waited too long to take out of the dryer.
I am missing my friends who are over there, and also those who have left there for Thailand, New York, Mexico. I, too, want to go places. I really want to go to Mexico. There is plenty to explore in California, though. I'd like to be hanging out with lepidoptera at the UCSC Museum of Natural History, dreaming up butterfly stories.
I am looking at this funny little chapbook I picked up at the co-op today. It is called i am like october when i am dead, written by this young guy steve roggenbuck, who, judging by his style - no capitals, minimal punctuation, minimalistic grammar, sigur rós reference - may be much too clever, or just very 2010. Speaking of 2010, the year is almost done. How 'bout that?
It's not that anything would be more pleasing to me than an in-depth analysis of Basque. Basque is fascinating. It's just that there are so many other fascinating things out there, and I am frustrated with not being able to give them my attention. In the meantime, the butterflies are waiting.