Friday, July 02, 2010

Root Down

"Not only did they have no parents, few science fiction heroes seemed to marry and have kids. In short, the heroes of most science fiction novels were perpetual adolescents, lone rangers who wandered the universe avoiding commitments. This shouldn't be surprising. The romantic hero is invariably one who is going through the adolescent phase of human life. The child phase . . . is the time of complete dependence on others to create our identity and our worldview.

... The romantic hero is unconnected. He belong to no community; he is wandering from place to place, doing good (as he sees it), but then moving on. This is the life of the adolescent, full of passion, intensity, magic, and infinite possibility; but lacking responsibility, rarely expecting to have to stay and bear the consequences of error. Everything is played at twice the speed and twice the volume in the adolescent - the romantic - life.

Only when the loneliness becomes unbearable do adolescents root themselves, or try to root themselves. It may or may not be in the community of their childhood, and it may or may not be in the childhood identity and connections that they resume upon entering adulthood. And, in fact, many fail at adulthood and constantly reach backward for the freedom and passion of adolescence. But those who achieve it are the ones who create civilization."
-Orson Scott Card's Introduction to Speaker for the Dead, p. xvi

I have a separate private blog for quotes that I want to remember. I find that quotes that stick out often reflect conversations that I am having at that time in my life. I might not agree with them, but they do give me a different way of looking at things. This quote was something I read while in Denver, CO trying to figure out what my next move in life is.

I have applied to go back to the Ice, but it isn't necessarly my number one choice anymore (I haven't heard anything from them either). I would love to find something like McMurdo back in the states where I can hang out with Sabah. I've enjoyed the Ice more each season that I am down there, but I hate leaving my dog behind. That gets tougher every time. I suspect I have separation anxiety worse than Sabah, but we'll just ignore that for now. Am I lonely? Maybe. I do know the Ice community is one of the best I have ever lived in, but finding a community like that in the USA will be hard. Communities of 1,000 in the USA don't bring quite the same diversity.

The biggest issue for me is stability. If I had a setup like Rhoda and Lenny, where I went back to my house with all of my stuff unpacked every year, I might keep going to the Ice. If I owned a house with a disconnected garage apartment and had renters in the house pay the mortgage, but I moved back into the garage when I got back, I might keep going to the Ice. If I just had some base, some stability, I might keep going. Coming back this year to no set place to stay and all of my stuff in a storage unit just wasn't what I needed. I also think that if I was doing my travels with a brother, best friend, or girlfriend, that might provide enough stability. So what do I really need? Stability, but I'm not quite sure what form that will take. I do know that I feel I have a responsibility to Sabah since I adopted her so I suspect I'll have some geographic stability to start with, but we'll see. Only time will tell. I'm booked through October.

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