It’s been an emotional time.
I’ve struggled to find the words.
I think I said that in my last blog.
I know my poor novel has suffered for it.
I get up early in the morning and stare at blank pages and half-filled boxes. My husband and I are moving back to Oregon next month. Did I mention that? Yes! My husband and I are moving back to Oregon next month.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?????
It means I’ll still be doing readings! But if you’re in NYC, we’ll have to set up a time by Skype or phone (or you’ll just have to plan a trip to the NW!). If you’re in the Portland area, I don’t know yet if/where I’ll be doing readings in-person, but they will still be available by phone and Skype until I get that figured out. I will probably be taking a couple of weeks off in March to finish the move.
And now….for some blatant self-indulgence by Courtney Weber (Starring Courtney Weber).
Thirteen years ago I came out to NYC to seek something. Anything. I said it was to do theatre and for awhile, it was. I was wild and angry and felt caged and short-changed, and the only truth in that last sentence was me being angry and wild.
I moved out here with two suitcases. My feet hurt so badly those first few days–I didn’t have supportive walking shoes and the concrete rattled right into the tiniest bones of my feet. I moved in with someone I’d never met before and slept on a daybed in Astoria, Queens. The first winter’s cold cut deep into the places where my gloves did not reach my coat sleeves. Growing up in mild winters, I didn’t know what cold truly could do. I slipped once on the ice, my feet flying out from underneath me and leaving me spread on the sidewalk like a starfish on a raw bar. It was hard. I had a job but was barely getting by. Yet, I would go for days without crying. I couldn’t remember a time in my last year in Oregon when I could get through a day without tears. For me, that was happiness.
I made friends who wore blazers instead of hoodies. I practiced Witchcraft in my room and sometimes with my roommate. I found a Circle who met in a studio in midtown. We chanted about the Witches who had been burned in the Inquisition. I now know “The Burning Times” weren’t about people like me and there was no “Pagan genocide.” But I didn’t know that, then. I helped chant “Never Again,” in dark rooms lit by electronic tea lights. I slept every Saturday away. The city took more from me than I could replace for myself.
I got laid off and started waiting tables. I got fired on the day I broke down in tears over a missing credit card receipt. But that year I understood the meaning of spring the first time. Spring didn’t happen in Oregon the way it happened in the Disney movies. There was no melting of snow and burst of leaves. The conifers didn’t lose their leaves and the winter rains simply gave way to spring rains. But in New York, I’d seen the trees turn gold and then brown and litter their leaves all over the sidewalks and park. I watched the city turn grey and white and then grey and grey when the snow lingered. And then one day, the snows receded and then disappeared. And one morning I walked out to sunshine and leaves budding on the trees. There was pink and yellow back in the world and I felt like skipping to the subway alongside animated birds and fawns. I understood the concept of Ostara and renewal.
I lost that apartment and found another one, in Washington Heights. Suddenly far away from the friends I’d made in Astoria, I was out of sight and mind. I was sharing a studio with my former roommate who I’d invited to come along. I worked under the table for steakhouse on the Upper East Side where the sexual harassment policy was, ‘Just stab the bastard.’
I was in love, but I was careless with myself. I was careless with him, too.
I don’t know if I’ll subject you all to my entire NYC journey. But it was sure fun to write about for a bit this morning. If you read all this way, bless you. Bless you so hard.
Your grit and moxy never cease to amaze. You have earned your wisdom stripes. Enjoy going home to mild winters and a loving family with your loving husband. You brought color, warmth, and integrity to gray, cold, and callous NY. But now that you return home with a wealth of knowledge and experiences, the world will become your canvas, and your vibrant works will be our gifts. Thank you for taking the East Coast adventure. And BTW, this post sounds like the opening to a marvelous book. I hope we’ll all get to read it.
The City can 31st You up until you figure out how to live within Her.,Keep going, Courtney, if you feel the need! I know it helped me when I left. Xxoo
That should say eay, not 31st you… But maybe there somee weird 31st street code in that. Ha!
Oh forget it.
I loved reading this and am excited to be close to you so soon in Portland! Yay for spring awakenings and renewals! xoxo