I’ve been largely offline this week, losing patience with the dismally slow dial-up Internet access at my parents’ house and checking on my online classes during trips to Panera that are limited by the staying-power of my laptop battery. Even if I had a lightning-fast Internet connection at my unlimited disposal, though, I probably wouldn’t be blogging much, feeling singularly uninspired. Columbus, Ohio is the place I grew up, but it’s also the place I left when I went to college in Toledo, moved to Boston for grad school, and then settled “for good or the time being” in New Hampshire. Columbus is the place I’ll always call home, telling folks who ask me where I’m from that I hail from Ohio, not New Hampshire…but it’s a place that no longer feels like home, life here in the quietly monotonous flatlands feeling exceptionally far removed from the hubbub of stimulus that is my life in the hilly Northeast.

It’s not so much that I’m bored in Ohio since I brought plenty of papers to grade and other things to keep me busy. It’s just in the presence of so much homework, I feel simultaneously tied to and entirely separate from home, wherever that is. I’ve written before about the curious sensation of being betwixt and between I feel whenever I leave my New Hampshire home to visit my Ohio one, and this trip is no different. Although I thought that coming “home” (or to my “home home,” as I started calling Columbus when I was an undergraduate in Toledo, thereby distinguishing it from the “home” that was my University dorm room) would provide a much-needed jolt of inspiration to the NaNoWriMo “novel” that I’d turned into a spiritual memoir, the exact opposite has happened: now that I’m “home home,” the last thing I want to do is think and write about the weirdly wending path that led me to my curiously Zennish existence in Keene, NH. Feeling uninspired to blog, I’m also uninspired to write, figuring I might shelve this current memoir-ish thing until a time when I actually feel inspired to write something rather than continuing a vain attempt to make-up word-count to meet an admittedly arbitrary goal.

Given my current uninspired state, it seemed fitting to post the above picture of a trashed sofa. Whereas in the hilly Northeast, we stash our unwanted couches in front of our homes, here in the Ohio flatlands, we stick unwanted furniture in the alleys out back. Maybe a forgotten back alley is exactly where I should leave my currently inactive Muse.