Lightness – from Caleb

This was simultaneously posted to my blog at There, I also have a series of entries regarding my travels with my brother, complete with photos and musings. I thought this bit may have a little home here.


22 August 2010, Sunday late morning

For the last few days I have felt this peculiar lightness. Not weightlessness and not flightiness. I am not more urged or guided in one direction than usual, but I feel the more subtle tugs in each direction more finely. Not until just now did I realize what it was.

Yesterday I described in my personal journal my not unpleasant sense of aloneness. It is, at times, sharpened into feeling lonesome but has not yet manifested as loneliness. Feeling lonesome is, in a way, not unpleasant for me. Rather, it is an appreciation for those episodes or places that are enriched by the company of others. Eating my meals alone, I often sense that strange absence of another person with whom I might share that meal. Whereas loneliness is much more of a longing for that space to be filled, it is an attachment to a person or type that, in their absence, the present moment is degraded.

This lightness, though, has different qualities. It did not come together on the camping trips between Lincoln and Flagstaff or in the house I was staying in before the apartment. This ethereal sensation must have arisen Friday or thereabout despite my bicycle technical difficulties that occurred that day. What it is, I believe, is a sort of calm release of those responsibilities and concerns I have experienced for most of this year. Many of my obligations have been these long-term expectations and their slow conclusions; work applications, graduate school concerns, money issues, finding housing, arranging roommates, graduate assistantship paperwork and confusion, etc. Now, though, most of these issues are resolving or slipping out of mind. What I have now is immediacy and immediacy feels distinctly light.

Part of this sensation, I am sure, is an easily fostered sense of peace in my new quarters. I feel pruned and tidied. What I have is what I need and what I need is nearby. I can maintain a sense of quiet in my living room which makes a sense of quiet in my mind all the easier. (This notion of noise and tranquility play a part in my dislike of driving which is necessarily loud and my preference for biking which is, under most circumstances, rather serene—at least when it comes to the vehicle in question.) For most of the past week, I have been scrambling for those things a living space generally requires—light, cleaning supplies, certain tools, food, cookware, silverware, and specific items of furniture—and now that those items are more or less in place and the clutter is off the floor, I have this wholesome sensation of satisfaction.

That said, I look forward to my roommates arriving. The apartment remains rather sparse and I think their arrivals and expectations for the apartment will metamorphose the place beneficially. Also, I am excited to show off what I cannot help but feel is very much my handiwork. I could not have made the trip very easily without my brother, nor could I have moved in without Miss Julia J and Mr. Eric to assist in his absence. All the same, finding certain items on craigslist and arranging it just so feels especially personal, peculiarly reflective of me. When Miss Mari A. and Mr. Tim H. make their appearances, I hope it is a welcoming place for them not just to step inside, but to make their own as well.

Perhaps this lightness will fade with coming responsibilities. I may even begin working this coming week and I have scheduled events that require my attendance. The subsequent week I have classes and hope to have real work hours besides. Not to mention rent will be coming up again in no scant amount of time—rent I think my bank account can handle. Nevertheless, I cannot perceive those realities becoming painfully heavy. It may be that I have found a solid mental place, a psychic calm that has been rather fleeting up until now.


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