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The International Writers Magazine: Thoughts

On Being Nowhere
Lois Tietzel

Purgatory for the brain - the delightful bliss of being nowhere at all – flying over the Atlantic Ocean: how places shape the way you think, be, type, eat, view the world in its entirety.

Why is it that I can have different thoughts while driving down Lamar Road in my home town (the street that hosts all kinds of life from Bead It to Mother's Tattoo to the best Mexican Bakery, to Al's Auto Repair to the eclectic furniture stores to the uppity sex and the city condos downtown to the Army Surplus store north of town) – I can have all these different thoughts of life, living, loving, dying, praying, staying, lying, laying, swaying and even weighing while driving down that street.

However, it is almost impossible to have those same thoughts while remembering I was driving down that street and having those thoughts? I can't even duplicate them if I try it while driving down the road from the highway to our little town in the countryside (hosting trees, farms, pasture, a restaurant and a roadside serve-yourself-marmalade-and-eggs-stand). Doesn't work. All the epiphanies have left me. I am no longer in purgatory. I have arrived in my other world. The one I share with myself. My other self, across the ocean in another world.

While up in that gassy shroud of nothing 30,000 feet above the earth's surface, I was closer to being enlightened than while reclining below on the earth's crust and drinking any form of inducing alcoholic concoctions. The fact of being in neither of my worlds was a chocolate high for the mind and for the cultural soul. I could think about my Grandmother getting older, my mother taking care of her and all of the emotional ties in a surprisingly objective way. I figured out what I wanted to write to my Grandmother, that I wasn't able to tell her in person. I could also think about my personal relationships in a new and lighter fashion – without the usual beaten down paths of the past or the carelessness of the moment. I was in suspended animation, able to lay out my life before me and pick out pieces to think about and figure out at my leisure without any time or space pressures. Plus there was the perk of free sodas. (Well, I only had time until they served breakfast. Then my secret balloon would pop.)

There have been other times in my life when I felt that I was in purgatory, where everything seemed to be surreal and I was complacent to whatever was going on around me, where I was free. ... Now those moments are fewer in number and shorter in length. Reality and being an adult have control over my life. Not that that is a bad thing. It just makes the purgatory moments the more sweeter

.© Lois Tietzel September 2008
Lois Tietzel lives in Northern Germany, writing and painting many of her experiences as a voluntarily displaced American.

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