Small talk is supposed to be annoyingly superficial – everybody asks the same questions that everybody answers the same way.

Nevertheless, in this season of near constant soirees and reunions, I’m finding the simplest of these questions not so straightforward.

I’ve long had to contend with complicated responses to “What do you do?”  I’ve never had a simple answer to this one (and I’m not sure I ever will).

It’s “Where do you live?” that’s throwing me off these days, though.  Not only do I not have a physical office to which I must report every weekday, I don’t even have a permanent address to call home.

I’m effectively home-less, which is a term that seems to really scare people, so instead, I’ve been saying “home-free.”

Since I left for France in August, I haven’t stayed in one place longer than a month, and I’m not sure that pattern is going or needs to change in the immediate future.

I recently read of a man who’s been home-free for nine years. . . .

Rather than plunge into a lease and stability and domesticity because it’s expected and reasonable and everybody does it, I figure I should take advantage of this unique opportunity in the midst of my Saturn return/end of extended adolescence/tricentenarian eve to explore: places, people, lifestyles.

Sitting at the Hanover, NH, Starbucks waiting for the Dartmouth Coach to take me to the Boston airport to catch my flight to Naples, FL, I’m remembering Bagnols and Dijon and Oxford and Frankfurt.  Salem and Quechee and Belfast, Maine.

People and traditions and stories.  Food and drink.  Games and conversations. What I’ve learned.  What I’ve shared.  How I’ve changed.

From Naples, I don’t really have anything planned but am anticipating time in Philadelphia, New York, Salem, and Kansas City.  There’s potentially a house-sitting stint in White River Junction, VT, for a Waldorf French teacher. Maybe an Intro to Buddhism retreat in upstate New York.

My life is open and free.  There is no loss or lack.

“You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have”


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