Monday, January 31, 2011

Emptying

Most of this week is spent in Sonora, working, working, working, getting the house that I bought ten months ago ready to sell. Three days with my sister (where I would be without her workhorse Capricorn Moon and her Libran generosity I don’t know), then back to the bay area for a night, then back up alone for two more days. Tons of stuff given away—most that I never should have moved with to begin with… or bought in the process… but that provided some misplaced notion of security or happiness; another percentage thrown away, half of what’s left packed and stacked, ever so neatly in the garage, the rest “staged” in a house waiting and eager for its new owners.

I have this crazy idea, hanging out just at the edges of reason: I want to chuck it all. I mean every last bit. Even—or maybe especially—the bits that I’ve thought I could not live without. Really. And truly, except for the two paintings by my oldest daughter, what does it all mean anyway? Except more work, newspapers, boxes, space, muscle.

It’s a thought that won’t let me go. How many plates does one need? Pots? Pans? Bowls? (Oh, and I do love a beautiful bowl…) Mugs, glasses, utensils, baking dishes, serving dishes? And that’s just the kitchen…

Starting over. And I mean really over, sans the three-quart copper-bottomed Revereware pot that my mom cooked popcorn in, the wedding gifts that never leave the hutch, the hutch itself, my mom’s before her death, the shit that I arrange and rearrange and occasionally dust on shelves and mantles and tables.

I love the idea of beginning anew with nothing. Of moving with only the bare essentials. And as a need arises, or as I spy something that I think will fit in my “new” life, that inspires, that will bring meaning or beauty to it, picking it up, a little at a time. (Or not.) Creating consciously rather than loading and unloading, packing and unpacking the past, the illusion, the dream, the agenda.

Clean slate. Bare canvas. Walls, bookshelves, cupboards. Unencumbered. Light. Free. Open.

*******

Lately I seem to be finding myself most often in other people’s words. The current example, David Whyte’s “The Journey”…

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

Painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky

Sometimes everything
has to be
inscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

Sometimes it takes
a great sky
to find that

small, bright
and indescribable
wedge of freedom
in your own heart.

Sometimes with
the bones of the black
sticks left when the fire
has gone out

someone has written
something new
in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving
you are arriving.

4 comments:

  1. I hope that this new beginning sets you on a path that is both comfortable and fulfilling. Perhaps, though, not too comfortable for when we are too comfortable we are tempted not to seek out new adventures try new things that will give depth to our lives.

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  2. It's as though you've been inside my head. I've been struggling for years with "stuff". I used to collect and all my space filled up with things and overflowed into boxes. Though I've purged a lot of it, I'm still feeling burdened with what's left.
    "I have this crazy idea, hanging out just at the edges of reason: I want to chuck it all. I mean every last bit. Even—or maybe especially—the bits that I’ve thought I could not live without. Really. And truly, except for the two paintings by my oldest daughter, what does it all mean anyway? Except more work, newspapers, boxes, space, muscle".

    I couldn't have written it better myself. It is ALL meaningless. The thought of packing one more box and moving anything other than my bed is overwhelming to me. I look at what I have and I just want to walk away and not look back. Let us toast to a bare canvas! Have a beautiful day Debby.

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  4. Amazing post!

    This reminds me of the first time I heard the metaphor of how most of us slog along, carrying an enormous sack of baggage upon our backs.

    You can't go home, but we time travelers remain vulnerable to the suck of the souvenir.

    Oh! The incredible lightness of being in jumping into the pool naked.

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