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.


  1. Love this. It is so beautifully written. I'm quite moved & so happy to hear where you are-on many levels.