Saturday, November 19, 2011

I’m a Stranger Here

For those folks who don’t interact with me on other social media sites, & hence to whom this still will be news: I have the apartment.  As of Monday, I will be in possession of a place of my own.  It’s an exciting prospect.

The actual move won’t happen until after Thanksgiving for logistical reasons, but by this time next week (or a bit later in the day!), I will be living on my own, in my own digs, for the first time since I lived in San Francisco in 1998.  That seems like a lifetime ago….

But for all the sense of excitement, I’ve found myself subject to melancholy since yesterday.  Part of that is simply exhaustion: I had a long day of medical appointments on Friday, leaving the house at 8:30 & not getting back until close to 5:00—these were all routine by the way, so no worries on that front.  But it was draining; & today I meet with my uke student in the town of Milwaukie, which is almost a sort of Planes, Trains & Automobiles venture—actually, just substitute “bus” for planes” & you have it.  So no rest for the weary.  At least when I have my new place, new students will be coming to me!

In addition, there’s stress associated with finding a place, as potentially liberating as it is.  Indeed, my expenses while staying with friends have been limited, & the rent I’ve been paying is itself over $100 less than what I’ll be paying for my own apartment.  The only downside of finding the place relatively quickly is that I didn’t have time to build up much of a reserve.  But there was no question of not walking into this opportunity, even tho from a financial viewpoint it is going to be difficult.

& it’s difficult too from the perspective that this move brings an even more conclusive finality to the end of my relationship with Eberle as it existed in the past.  While we remain friends & friendly, there’s a distance that often seems far greater than 434 miles.  But that’s the reality of things. 

Finally, I’ve been living in the lap of luxury here in many ways—I have daily friendly companionship, great food, even lovely pets with I can interact.  I’ve entered into routines that are integrated with this part of town—the bus routes, the stores, the walks & so forth.  These are just now becoming familiar, & are about to change.

So, from the perspective of the blues driving blues away, here’s a little Ramblin’ Jack Elliott with the great old song, “New Stranger Blues.”  It does sum up something of what I’m feeling—but don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll be back to my usual “sunshine self” soon!

Hope you’re having a great Saturday; if not, hope Ramblin’ Jack lifts your spirits!


  1. It's weird here, too... a family member is away until Thanksgiving and so we' re down the sound of one heartbeat. It's the loudest sound, John.

  2. The very best of luck John, and I hope you settle in quickly and begin enjoying your own place.
    Thanks for sharing the blues.

  3. I'm happy you found a place, and I have faith that you'll make it work for you and set up a good life in what looks like a wonderful city. Now that you have your own place hopefully it will help you get even more students. And there's the potential to meet great new people there, as well as staying close to your existing friends in the city.

  4. There's been a lot of change and just STUFF going on for you. HOpe you can take time just to breathe now and then. Glad you're finding some clients for lessons.

  5. Good news, John! I'm on the hunt for an apartment, too, and seem to have found two that meet my price range. Phone calls to be made on Monday.

  6. Hi Rene, Titus, HKatz, Banjo52 & Roy

    Rene: Thanks so much--you say the most amazingly wonderful things :)

    Titus: I really appreciate the good wishes, & always happy to see you stop by!

    HKatz: Thanks--yes, I'm doing better this evening: a good lesson--depsite the trek involved--a delicious meal & a nice evening--with the prospect of a quiet day tomorrow! You are right: there's much to look forward to & embrace. Thanks so much for your friendship & support!

    Banjo52: Thanks! Yes, I have two very good students & that's a great start. A few more will give me some breathing room in terms of money. & yes, it is necessary to stop & take a breather--that's what I'll do tomorrow!

    Roy: That's great news! You vae all my best wishes for something good coming up for you in the way of housing, & thanks a lot for the great support you show to me & this blog--very much appreciated!

  7. I'm sure you'll settle in quite quickly, John. And your circle of friends and acquaintances will grow, in time. Who isn't going to pal up with one of the 'nice guys'?

  8. Hi Martin: Thanks--what a very kind thing to say!

  9. Wow...your life has really changed since the last time I've been here.

    -- I liked the title of this post...was slinking around through your archives, thinking, "Where do I start? How on Earth do I ever get caught up with John and his poetry..." and all the great things you share.

    Clicked here.

    You're teaching lessons? Want to teach me the banjo??

    I hope you've settled in...and I'm sure I'll find out if you have or not once I've actually caught up.

    Wishing you all the best, John!

    I hope you're well.

  10. Hey Ginger: So nice to see you--& I need to swing by AINY too!

    Yes, a lot changed for me 2011. As you see I now live in Portland, & if you haven't gotten that far in the archives yet, yes I did get the apartment & am pretty well set up.

    I've taught music for some time--did that back in Idaho too--you may just have forgotten that. But yeah, I'm doing it here as well. I'd love to teach you banjo, but I suspect it would be a long trip for one or the other of us :)

    I'm working on some new poems called "Raintown"--there are 6 so far, tho only 5 have posted yet--the next one will post on Thursday. There's a label for those poems.

    Great to see you!


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