Monday, April 16, 2012

Moving Time Again: Let Your Stuff Serve Your Life.

Eric and I are faced with the job of moving once again. We've been waiting for news on a care taking position at a coffee farm up the hill, and it sounds like it may not happen as soon as we'd hoped. Eric hasn't given up yet, but in the meantime, we'll have to create a new plan for next year.

I think the challenge of my twenties has been getting accustomed to ambiguity. It's a great lesson because life is full of ambiguity. What I am discovering is that resisting ambiguity is what makes it difficult. It's the fight against something that is unknowable that tires you out. If you can let go of the fear that turns the future into something terrifying, then it simply dissolves into possibilities.

In an odd way, I have learned to love the process of sorting through my things every year or so. It gives me a chance to lighten the load of things and establish new goals and priorities, making sure that my stuff serves my life instead of using life to serve my stuff.

I always feel a surge of creativity when moving day comes- projects that have languished in closets are suddenly pulled out and finished. I bustle from room to room sorting through cupboards and filling bags for the thrift shop. I start cooking like mad in a vain effort to downsize the pantry. I wonder how I've been spending my days farting around on the internet with so much to do all around me.

The part that is always hardest for me is house hunting. I find it emotionally wrecking. Eric and I have wasted a lot of energy looking at places that just don't fit our needs, and this time I've vowed not to. We made a list of things we need in our home (washer/dryer, a spare room for Becky Kazana, tasteful furnishings, no more than 25 minutes from work) and won't look at something if it's missing one of these crucial items. Everything else is negotiable.

In the midst of all these thoughts, I came across this lovely poem via The Writer's Almanac and it touched a nerve. I mean, is there anything more depressing than a storage unit?


by Faith Shearin

That year we left the house we couldn't afford and put
our belongings in storage. We were free now
to travel or live in tiny spaces. We kept our chairs

and tables in a cement cell, our bookshelves,
our daughter's old toys, clothes we wouldn't wear
or discard. There were books we liked but did not

need and mattresses and pots and pans. Sometimes
we went to visit our things: sat in our rocking chairs,
searched for a jacket, listened to an old radio. It was like

visiting someone I loved in a hospital: the way, removed
from the world, a person or object becomes thin,
diminished. The furniture on which we lived

our young life had no job but to wait for us.
It remembered our dinners, the light through
our windows, the way the baby once played on the floor.

"Storage" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2011.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...