Back in the late 80′s I went skydiving with four other friends of mine. 3 guys and 2 gals all jumped that day. The lead up to the jump itself was filled with a day of training and then an adrenaline filled leap into the great unknown. The wind and the noise around the open airplane door was thunderous. The exit was violent and disorienting (apparently my pack hit the back of the door and I was upside down for a second). Then the chute deploy was equally as violent. It was so intense that by comparison the slow drifting feeling of the open parachute was strangely soothing. I was just hanging there in the quiet and the calm. Sinking slowly, the only sense of motion was my ears popping every once in a while to inform me that I was loosing altitude. A strange and wonderful stillness. It was only as the last three hundred feet or so did a sense of downward motion begin. Even though I had jumped by myself from an altitude of 3000 feet it was only just above the tree tops that I started to feel high above the ground. The ground rushing up to meet me.
It is only here on Manitoulin Island heading south to the ferry do I feel far from home.
I have been wondering why I have felt no anxiety at all during this whole trip. Even when I was being pelted with heavy rain and wind while straining to keep my motorcycle upright in the mud and ruts of the Taylor highway in Alaska, the remotest place I have ever been. A simple calm focus would descend on me and I would just get on with it.
Now this is in stark contrast to many years of anxiety attacks I suffered from in the late 90′s. Back then I set out to rid myself of the malady (without drugs btw) and I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have succeeded.
I think that my recent uprooting from the many things I thought of as grounded has brought the edges of ‘home’ right up to my skin. I never felt far from anything. ‘Home’ followed me like a (non theistic) halo. Like a glow. I always felt home.
Yet, now with life returning to the city, I feel a tug of another home… family and friends. A gentle conflict. A feeling of being far away… a gentle anxiety… very gentle.