August 17th, 2005
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a little nagging of dread

Drawing city people at the local cafe. You can always tell they are “from away”, they seem a bit out of their element unsure of the rural protocol. I spose that was me a few short years ago.
Found deer tracks in the woods yesterday, (much harder to do in the summer than the winter when they are sprawled randomly in every direction.) The deer must be gorging on apples that have dropped from the trees. I cracked at least 50 of them with the ball of my shoe. The blackberries are out and every day on my walk now I stop and feast for a while.
I found another half dead/half alive tree, one with a red circle painted on it. I felt much like Virginia Woold walking and talking to myself about a new book idea. A bird sitting in the long grass flew up flapping its wings hysterically and startled me.
These days I seem to be flipping back and forth between extreme excitement and joy about the impending move, and actual panic at the idea of leaving my home of the last eight years. Today is a good day, I am getting stuff done, mailing the last personal items, talking to the phone company, finishing illustration work. Yesterday I was teary and terrified, asking the universe (and whoever else is up there rooting for me) for help because I felt weak and lacking in courage. Sometimes I feel silly, it’s not like i’m moving to a third world country, there will be very little in the way of culture shock. I so admire people who go off to Africa for a year doing field work or foreign aid, and I would like to do that some day. But I am reminded that any change takes courage no matter what the degree, and there is always that initial fear of jumping into the abyss, (the unknown), as Wendell Barry put it,
“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.” -Wendell Barry, naturalist

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