Sunday, May 5, 2013

Do Over II: Looking For Home

Today is my last day in California for about six weeks; no, make that approximately nine or ten weeks.  Over the next two months, my life is going to be interesting.  I have performances for two different productions in two different cities.  I will then be returning to the UK for approximately six weeks.  All of this has inspired what I would have called as a child "panic stations."  Longer term readers might remember that I hate packing; it distresses me.  A lot.

I solved the tour packing by making lists and kits that I never took out of the suitcase.  I would come home, wash my stuff, put it back in the case, refill any bottles and close the case.  That way, I never forgot anything.  Ever!  It was very satisfying.  I solved the bi-coastal life problem by simply having two (small) wardrobes and two sets of body and hair products.  It made the commute easy: all I had to do was pack my computer, headphones, and some travel toiletries in case I got stuck.  No packing and no stress.

Now, I'm dealing with a larger set of concerns.  The UK!  Nominally my homeland, now my former homeland, a place I haven't lived in over twenty years.  I went to get my hair cut.  "It has to last until July," I insisted.  My sister reminds me that people in the UK do manage to get their hair cut, too.  And that is part of the dilemma.  Nothing is the same.  I am not the same.  My old brand of deodorant has probably gone -- and are you still wearing the same deodorant that you wore in your teens?  I use different hair products.  It's home, but it isn't home.

I notice how much I define my sense of personal home, not by geography but by my things.  This makes tremendous sense to me; I live primarily in two places.  I travel thousands upon thousands of air miles a year.  I've got a different lifestyle planned around living in hotel rooms for touring, and I love to travel with the Wizard (yet another way of living).  I am always on the move.  I use my things -- my clothes, my hair products, my lotion, even a bracelet or necklace -- to create a sense of myself that can go out into the world or even, softly, inward to bed with the people I care most for.  These help form the "me" that people relate to and with.

This is why packing is so important and so stressful.  If I get it wrong or if I have forgotten some menial thing, I am scared that I will somehow be less complete.  I can always buy a tooth brush, but using mine reminds of who I am.

So, some lists.

Wheelchair

  • every spare screw, back pad, foam plate
  • inner tubes
  • new tires (or should that be tyres, now?)
  • gaffer tape
  • pump
  • extra cushion?
  • tool kit
Dance
  • knee pads and spare knee pads
  • strap for adventurous moves
  • shoes??  (I hate wearing shoes
  • leg warmers
  • neck wraps
  • warm clothes 
  • performance underwear (neutral leotards, bras, shorts -- not clear what I need)
  • regular underwear -- tights, bra
  • pants
  • tops or leotards (how formal are they?)
  • hat
  • plastic pants -- outdoor performance and rehearsals: it is going to rain!
Medical
  • medication
  • heating pad
  • ice machine
  • therabands
  • pads and balls
  • back brace (just in case)
  • beanies (if there's microwave)
Personal
  • no clue yet

1 comment:

  1. Having recently returned from six weeks working in Asia, sans wheelchair, I empathize. As it turns out, my choice to only take crutches has had repercussions, as my choice not to take a video camera. Then there were the clothing space restrictions and the wildly variable climatic conditions that proved a challenge. In spite of all that, I had a wonderful experience. I hope your "homecoming" is equally enjoyable.

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