The song by Sophie Hawkins, called "California Here I Come" is playing right now. Not quite by coincidence, it came to mind as I thought of writing this post, so I put it on. But it is one of my favorite songs, no matter where I'm headed. Short story: I'm moving back to the West Coast, specifically back to the Bay Area, sometime between early October and early November. This time, I expect it will be pretty much for good. One never knows, of course, but that's how it feels at the moment. Feel free to say something snide if it doesn't turn out that way. Longer story: It is partially, of course, to be closer to Ruth, who lives in Oakland now. But in this 5 or so month process that I have been through since Ruth decided to go back to California, I have come to realize that there is a lot for me in the Bay Area, and there seems to be a way that I need to grow that will be facilitated by being there. What do I mean? New England has been a wonderful place to live. It still does (and I imagine will always) feel a lot like home. It is cozy and comfortable (except in winter!) A lot of dear friends live here. It's small and handle-able. But in many ways, it's isolated. It's far away from my work contacts, far away from potential clients, and there aren't the kinds of dynamic communities that I got to be a little bit a part of when I lived in Berkeley in 2005-6. My field of work, nonprofit technology, which feels much more chosen rather than accidental now that I got to take a break to go to seminary, could almost be said to be centered in the Bay Area. There are communities of faith that I can be a part of that only exist there (like City of Refuge, Choctmat Halev, and New Spirit Community Church to name just a few.) I mean, where else can you find meditation groups with queer people of color? Or how about butch yoga? I also came to an interesting realization. Having spent most of my life living in settings that are largely white, I feel like I haven't really gotten to fully live out the complexity of my identity. With my move to Oakland, I get to live and move among a lot of other African Americans, who have chosen all sorts of life paths, many as complex and combined as my own (African-American/Lesbian/Geek/Buddhist/Christian/Science Fiction Writer - there may even be more of those than just me!) I got to experience a taste of that when I lived there, but I feel like it will be great to really get to immerse myself in that experience. What's great is that I have a network there already, between work and my old seminary friends, as well as a few other folks I've known who've moved there over the years. I'm excited about the move. And, of course, there is a lot to do (oh, like hopefully sell a house) and such before hand, which is not fun. But I'm just taking it one step at a time.