Awed by the Familiar
It’s strange. For how far I’ve gone, I seem to have ended up right where I started.
I’m writing this by the lake at Furman University. I’m teaching a couple of classes here this semester, and have one in the fall. Furman is about 10 minutes from where I grew up. It was the sight of many first dates, of summer concerts with my family. It was also where I went to Governor’s School, way back in 1995, a major turning point of my life as an artist.
Furman isn’t my only teaching job. On Monday’s I teach at the Fine Arts Center. Which is located on the campus of Wade Hampton High School. Which is my alma mater. I am literally teaching exactly where I went to high school. The buildings are all gone, but the land is still the same. The neighborhood hasn’t changed. The Wade Hampton Garden Pool, with their massive high board, looks just how how it did in 1996 when I left this place never to return.
Yet twenty-three years later, here I am.
Not that I’m complaining. There’s a certain cache in returning home. I feel like Odysseus in The Odyssey. He fought monsters, I survived the L train.
Here's the thing I'm trying to wrap my head around- I always thought life was about seeing new places. Doing new things. For some reason, my life has decided to return me home. To the lake I’ve sat next to hundreds of times. To the streets I could drive with my eyes closed.
It’s easy to wowed by ever changing land scapes. To have my breath taken away a vista I’ve never seen. To get magically lost in a city I’ve never been to. It takes a little extra to be awed by the familiar. Which seems to be what life wants me to do right now.
Not sure why yet. I’m excited to figure it out.