Justin Vernon, from Bon Iver, wrote about having lived in so many places, and being pushed into so many roles and personas, by so many groups over his life: ‘who knows how many poses that I’ve been in’. I often feel this way: how many poses I’ve been put in, or put myself in, over time. This line is part of his beautiful song called ‘00000 Million’. The chorus has a sample from an Irish folk song – a voice sings like they are singing in an echoing valley: ‘where the days have no numbers’. The song also mentions highlands, lowlands, a canyon, a grove, and a river. Overall it makes you think of a beautiful, settled land. And the dream of a life rooted there. Rather than our cosmopolitan life, hopping around the world, performing different roles for different folks all the time.
I have lived in so many places. I feel I keep moving, just as I start to get settled. If I count the places I have lived in for over a year: Birmingham, Brisbane, Potsdam, Melbourne, Maliana, Sydney, Oxford, and New York. I feel it takes about three years to really get going in a place: to have met enough people that new connections get made, people get in touch with you, you reach out to people, have parties, join projects. Where you develop, in a way, power: the power to do things, that comes from familiarity with a place, and relationships with people where you have connected about life and existence, where you feel like comrades or pilgrims together on the same human journey. Finding that takes time and many glasses of wine.
Right now I don’t have the power of being anchored in a place. It causes me some distress: I get very envious of things I imagine I could have done had I been in one spot. I am telling myself to hold on: I have done a lot of exploring, and gathered a lot. There will be time for consolidation.