Thursday, July 24, 2014

Picking and Choosing What to Leave Behind

I have no idea where the past month has gone.  I know I'm here, but I don't know where I've been.

I moved into my house (which is slowly becoming home) a week and a half ago.   The lead up to it saw me inhabit  seven different spaces in three weeks.  [Maybe that's where the past month went].  By the time I arrived here, my car smelled like a wet dog, and unpacking it was a bit of an archaeological dig.  However, I did find some things I hadn't seen since I moved away from Tucson three years ago:  I unearthed a couple of prints I had purchased in Madrid, NM  that I had loved for years, and had totally forgotten; a baggie of antique marbles; Jack's collar and photos; and a brass Ganesha that I think has been riding under my driver's seat for multiple years.

I brought my belongings into the house and realized that it felt like a very large and echo-y place…and I had that momentary flash of "WTF?"  Then, I reminded myself that the "F***" is life (thank you Cheryl Strayed for this reminder and phrasing).  And then I settled down (as much as I could in my moving-in manic stage).  I filled the refrigerator with too much food; I made myself waffles for breakfast; I played music loudly and danced through the living room.  Friends arrived to take me garage-saling, to deliver a couch, then a bed, and then…I played the tunes a little bit louder and realized that it's a good ride, this.  And I could feel myself sighing and expanding into the experience.  It wasn't until a rainy hike that Monday after work that I finally breathed deeply into me again.

It will be a ride.  I tweak the dials on the scene--a grill on the back patio; a new speaker to add to my sound system; a cow-shaped creamer that is amusing me to no end.  The bonus?  I actually want to be unpacking here.  I realized I've kept a bit of myself packed and ready to flee for the past years:  "camping" in the places I've lived and rented (investing only in things that were easily transportable, since I knew the inevitable purge would be imminent), and traveling so much for work that I didn't notice.  And here?  Here I only want to fully ground myself into the space, to devour the landscape around me, and to engage…to engage fully with the world around me.

A dear friend's dog (who was also dear friend) passed this week, and this prompted me to look through pictures I hadn't revisited in more years than I'd care to think about.  I've tucked so many bits of myself and my past away.  I think it's time to celebrate it all a little bit more.  I think it's time to look at the past years as a time that has continually led me to beautiful friends, to amazing spaces, places,  and adventures, and a little less like something that I'd like to hide away from myself.

We can choose.  Here's to reclaiming all that is amazing and leaving the detritus in the dust.