On arrival

(Artwork by Natalie Ciccoricco)


I’m new here. There’s something intoxicating about being new. Some of it is being surrounded by possibility. Some of it’s within the personal experience: being undefined, unknown, a question mark. Who is she? What is she about?

But not knowing where you are, being in a state of not knowing, like being drunk, is both exhilarating and complicated. It can get dark easily. You haven’t got your bearings. You haven’t got direction. You go from the comfort of gravity, down is down, and I am upright, to the shifting unlocked orientation of an astronaut: whatever is beneath you is down, even if that direction was just up. When you’re in the abyss of creation, the black of the before, there are no reference points.

I am presently experiencing a lot of not knowing. Not knowing what street goes where, not knowing what happened in that building, not knowing what will happen in that building. The lack of history, the lack of foretelling, they don’t dictate my experience, but they do put me in a position to see outside the confines of preconception, outside the established view of the world.

We have a feeling that when we know the streets, we know ourselves. I’ve been here before, I say, I know what this is. I know how to handle myself, how to handle this situation.  Too easily, what is new becomes what is old.  We want to hold onto our fixed stars, because when they change, we have to change too. This disorientation, this shifting, is uncomfortable. It forces you to grow. But growth is usually good, so the not-knowing is worth cherishing, worth cultivating. A sense of naivety, of newness, reminds me to keep curiosity alive, even when I’ve been in the same place, the same body for years.