home-leaving, home-coming

Frankly, my dear ... oh wait, that's not how this begins. Being in another country, which should be home and is partially still but isn't at all anymore, is confusing to say the least.

Frankly, before departing my current home - Stuttgart, I was worried about what I would experience emotionally/mentally upon arrival and limited stay in Texas - my once home. Maybe worried is too strong; I was in deep consideration and mental introspection. I think I was expecting something similar to my culture shock and general uneasiness that occurred after returning from my six-month stay in India. I've been in Germany longer and I know that I am returning there shortly. So I know that I am not returning home in this trip, but simply here in familiar surroundings for a total of eleven days then back home I go (via Berlin for a class excursion for a week).

I arrived in Houston at some point ... time travel confounds me to no end, especially since according to the airline, I ate dinner at 10am and a midnight snack at 4:30pm, and it was all still happening on the same day that I left. Thus far, it has all felt exactly the same to me. I hadn't planned on this. Besides the particular activities I am doing or not doing, nothing is different, not even my perceptions - no cultural shift necessary. I don't find myself longing for the U-bahn or being surrounded by German talk & text or whatever else defines my newest reality. (oh! but that first taste of brisket was heavenly.) My sister has commented on a few things that I have said or done that are funny to her - one being my speech patterns: my english is different from being around people whose native language is not english, and I also have two other languages swarming in my head constantly. But why do things feel as if the last 9-10 months don't exist?

But that's me. I know life goes on. And really, my life has too traveled from that past into the present, but it's like I have compartmentalized my experiences. hmm.

I am not a loud person. I am not one that jumps into the middle of the circle or enjoys being the center of attention. I am in country for a specific reason: to be very present and supportive before/during/after my sister gets ordinated (I'm pretty sure that verb doesn't exist in the manner I use, but it works for me - ordination in the United Methodist church as a full-blown elder/clergy/pastor/etc.). That's why I've flown over. So when we were going through the schedule of my time here, I was glad that I was in essence staying away from my old city and old church (sorry gang) because the swarm of people is not my style. I like business-as-usual gatherings, either my presence doesn't change the stride of the conversation or it's like I was never gone. Silly to dream such things, I know. But now that I am here, I find myself not minding if I could meet up with friends on this side of globe. We will see; we will see.

In summation: I left "home" confused and have arrived "home" opposite-but-equal confused. Life is grand, ain't it?