Thursday, October 02, 2008

postcards from the jungle

So, about the house, he says. I don't think you are going to want to live here. Why? I ask. Well, there were two bats in the house. The roof has a hole in it.

Two? Alive? I say.

Yes, well, yes, until this morning. Now one of them is dead. Silence. And a scorpion as big as my fist.

I don't think I can do that, I say. I know, he says. I already found a new place and we can have it but not till November or December. It's much better. No holes in the roof, he says.

I'm serious, I say. I don't think I can make that radical of a switch, I have to be eased into bats and scorpions. I know, he says, but otherwise it's really....I cut him off. I just can't do that.
I know, he says. And the new place has running water too. What the fuck, I think. No water? I'm not made of this, I say. I know, he says. The new place is much better. But you know, this is going to be hard at first, Jen. Hard but not stressful. Hard is okay. But there are so many good things too. And he proceeds to tell me about neighbors and community and more. These words help, they soothe, I remind myself that colliding with uncharted nature is part of the deal.

He's staying there in this house with the hole and the bats and I can't help but wonder if he's being brave or is actually enjoying it so I ask and he says yes, not only yes but I can tell he loves it. And he probably loves it more because I am not there freaking out. He is at once Tarzan and Don Quixote. The man who has gone before. I picture him tan and sweaty, eyes wide open.

I see my future and it quiets me. We are moving to the jungle. And I can't help but wonder what fortitude this will require of me, the thoughts that I gloss over but in reality have no idea if I will be able to handle.

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29 comments:

Karen said...

One part of me is saying, hey, of course you can handle it.
The other part of me would be really worried if you were handling it all too well, because it is just so HUGE!
Keep going, friend.

Sober Briquette said...

I was watching a little bit of Atchafalaya Houseboat on PBS last night and couldn't help thinking of you. They didn't get into specifics much, so mostly I noted how fetching Gwen Roland looked in all the photos, and concluded that if she looked that content all the time, then I have no doubt you are going to rock the jungle.

kristen said...

j is a good man to know what you can handle sweet girl.
i admire you for doing this, love you for your honest potrait. xo

Gwen said...

God, I wish I could come along with you and hold your hand through some of it. Because I've been with the scorpions and the holes in jungle houses and the other stuff, and I could reassure you daily that you really will learn to be okay.

Her Grace said...

So much bravery in this post. I can't wait to watch your adventure unfold.

meno said...

Bats? Probably.

Scorpions? Hell no.

Kyla said...

Josh and J would get along well, I think.

Different can be scary, but it can also be great.

PunditMom said...

I wish I was as strong as you to be able to make this kind of commitment. But I think you really do want to go ... but I'm with you on the 'no bats.'

Janet said...

I always think of you as a brave warrior, sister, mother, friend. But I think moving from Western culture to living with bats and scorpions is too harsh a transition for even the fiercest of women.

motherbumper said...

Different is scary and hard but it's also invigorating and inspiring. And really aren't you just trading media-politically driven scorpions for ones you can actually shoo away or squish?

Mad said...

Jeez, I'm glad you're scared b/c I was feeling like a total candy ass before. Now I can start wanting to live vicariously through you again.

bgirl said...

in reading this i realize how much i'd romanticized this adventure. the reality of it and of your feelings about it level me. continue as you are, facing this, embracing it and all you feel. your adventure has already begun jungle warrior!

xoxo

Magpie said...

Whoa! Scorpions. Oooh.

You are one brave woman. I'd have to be eased into scorpions too.

marymurtz said...

Jesus, I freaked out last week when I saw a praying mantis. You're made of sterner stuff. But yes, you have to be eased into this. J sounds like a superhero.

mamatulip said...

Wow. I don't think I could do that either. I love that you're writing this all down, chronicling this. It's your history in the making.

patches said...

WHen I started reading about your plans, I thought I was an absolute sissy, because the absence of running water freaked me out...I feel better now and not quite as guilty about enjoying the comforts of civilization. CIvilization in the organized spoiled sense, of course.

Jill said...

I know it's easier said than done...but don't my friend, don't be afraid...having lived there for 2 years myself I can somewhat understand where you are coming from but believe me...it is all SO worth it. I often wish I had never left. you know you are welcome to email me with any questions :) What you are doing is wonderful- I envy you!

ewe are here said...

Sometimes I think 'different' is meant to be scary, because it makes us take chances, stretch ourselves, grow.

But I suspect that I, too, would want to ease myself a little more slowly into a situation where there are bats and scorpions trying to share my home. ;-)

QT said...

one step at a time, sweets. all you can do is try it, and guess what? if you don't like it after you try it, you can change your mind.

But youve got to, got to try it or youll never forgive yourself.

Omaha Mama said...

Wow.
And wow.

Is he staying there until you go? Or coming back?
I'm fascinated with the process, but am far too familiar and comfortable with the futility to leave it all for the jungle.

flutter said...

not only are you going to love it, you are going to be resplendent.

Schmutzie said...

You are being featured on Five Star Friday:
http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2008/10/five-star-friday-edition-26-which.html

Anjali said...

I just adore your husband.

crazymumma said...

i think it is going to be really hard at first. But I know that you will find a groove with it. As for M She is going to love it.

Z said...

Be kind to yourself when you move, because you might be quite ratty and tense for a while. Don't expect instant adjustment and let your husband and daughter laugh at you and laugh too when it's all too much. I'd lay in a good stock of beer, but you are probably made of sterner stuff.

Bats are fine unless they're the biting variety. A good mosquito net and careful shaking will do for the rest of the creepy crawlies. The roads are more dangerous at home. You want to do this, you know - or if you don't, enough, now is still time to admit it.

Amy Y said...

I think bats are cute.
But I wouldn't want them in my house.
I definitely wouldn't want a scorpion in my house ~ they aren't cute at all.

Deb said...

I just snorted water through my nose at "I have to be eased into bats and scorpions".

Wayfarer Scientista said...

he is loving it. And bats eat mosquitos...if that helps. I've been wishing lately I could just pick up the phone and call you - but, dude, I don't have your phone number. I'm thinking of you...

mitzh said...

It's an adventure I'm sure you gonna LOVE.

Besides you have the heart and the soul for such things, yes?