February 13, 2013 12:03 AM

New city, new life. It's been nearly a month now. There's been a lot of looking. In fact, it feels like that's all I've been doing -- eyes averted from sunshine towards the innumerably fresh shapes and faces, for jobs, for rooms to rent, an opportunity to talk, to connect, shows and parties, noting this street leads to that block, BART stops. There's been a crush or two, and they've been crushed, too -- newbie mistakes. Good cheap take-out, and slightly more expensive groceries, although I'm learning where to get what (staples at the Berkeley Bowl, rice and certain meats at the Korean market, greens and snacks at the Chinese market).

I'm hellbent to integrate, happily meeting folks at any opportunity. But I still hold dear my distant, digitally-compressed friends. Never have I spent so much time on Facebook, how embarrassing! But I think I understand it a little better now, being displaced. I feel like a landlocked swimmer with nothing but 8-bit video games to virtually stimulate that part of my brain. It's stupid, but somehow you make that bad facsimile work for you. Real friendships aren't something you can force, and take time. The world is impenetrable without them, and so goddamn boring. So I virtualize a lot, practice my insular, self-reflective music, grooming my protective patchwork of past, present, and prescient identities, at least for a little while.

Olympia truly is a special place. I miss it. I don't think I realized how deeply talented people are there until I moved. I'm baffled by folks I meet here who don't know how to make fresh pasta, tune a drum, and use a multimeter. Not everyone in the world is an amateur polymath; living in Olympia made me presumptuous.

Moving was a philosophical decision, a personal imperative without the faintest sense of romanticism -- I moved to do more of the things that I love, and grow. I still believe this can happen in the Bay. It's been easy and hard in unexpected measures. The hardest part is allowing the naturalization process to happen, letting my body and mind assimilate to the new surroundings, and not get aggrevated by its necessarily unhurried, meandering pace.