The lure of the unread

The first task, and the easiest, after moving is to unload the books. Bookshelves are such organizational delights. I found it kind of thrilling to think about how to organize my books, now that I have a larger bookshelf, and one that I plan to fill by sending all the books I'd left behind in Baltimore. I enjoy seeing the conceptual themes of my work reflected in the titles that I have chosen. It does worry me, however, that I have strayed quite a bit from my initial interest in cultural interpretations of sexuality. These books take up a lot of space on my shelves. It's disorienting to feel confident that the newer directions are the right ones, yet feel a longing for the topics I intended to pursue initially. I suppose this isn't much different from when certain parts of one's life need to be shedded, and there's the desire to stay with the familiar and predictable, even when it's clear that it no longer fits properly.

I wish I could say this theoretical shift has some neat parallel in my everyday life -- sometimes things like this line up well to personal shifts, but I actually feel quite the opposite. I'm a bit weary of all the newness (self-inflicted). Though perhaps some of the problem of seeking the not-new is that there's nothing left of the old, except nostalgic remanants. It's the sensation of going home, thinking you can fit easily back into your old childhood bed, comfortable routines at home, but realizing you've quite outgrown your parents' lives, the bed, or the interest in any of the routines. It's a bit of a shell, and I suppose that's why I've rarely been overly-sentimental about old things. All that to say -- it's still a bit uncomfortable to return to a place that has a past though not a past I'm particularly nostalgic for. It's familiar without having any predictable or real anchor points. It's rather bizarre. This may all be prompted from the irritation and fatigue from unpacking. Packing actually is a pleasure in contrast to the re-location process.

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