Ugh, moving. Always such a joy, especially for a disorganized magpie.
However, the last few mornings when I’ve woken up, grabbed my coffee, a smoke and the dogs to sit out on the porch as I do, I have been able to remind myself that very soon, my view will not involve asphalt, speeding cars and a ton of parked cars, loud sirens and garbage cans. After the age of six, and up until now, this has been what I have seen every morning of my life, excepting the times I was able to go camp or otherwise escape to greener pastures very temporarily. That’s 34 years of urban life, my friends, which feels longer every day, especially the more urban starts to involve a lot of drywall and shiny-plastic-business and look more and more suburban in a lot of ways.
The knowledge that in a week I will wake up, go outside and see only forest sans asphalt, maybe a speeding chipmunk or two or a parked deer, or hear a bunch of loud frogs (the area of the island we’re living in apparently is chock full of frogs for a month or two every year) is DIVINE.
My coziest coffeeshop here in my current hood, where people were earnestly friendly, closed a couple months ago (RIP Mr. Spots Chai House). The folks at the closest one to our new place, what’ll be about a 4-mile bike ride, which works just fine for me, already greet us warmly, even though we have only been in there a few times. It’s also NOT across from a monstrously-sized condo development. We already know our neighbor, and she’s friendly and hilarious and did this crazy thing where she said hello and talked to us, something the vast majority of my neighbors here, where I have lived for four years, have yet to do, even when I say hello first. Half the time, given the reaction I get, you’d think I’d said “Fuck you, poopyhead,” instead of “Good morning!”
I’m looking forward to what I also hope will be the stretchier way time moves when you’re out in the mostly-middle-of-nowhere. I just have had so little time for myself lately that wasn’t about work, and only work-work, not my creative work. It’s also been so hard to keep up with calls and letters to friends over the last year, which I hate. I want some of that other time back, please. I’ve also physically and psychologically felt very detached from the rhythms and flow of the seasons and the outdoors lately, which always puts me out-of-sorts. Want that closer relationship back, too.
That all said, it is weird to be leaving this house and this city at the same time. I’ve never lived in a city where I only lived in one place in it, for starters. Even in only six years in Minneapolis, I lived in four different places. I also worry for this old place, clearly struggling to keep itself together with little help. Vainly, I’m hoping the new folks keep a lot of the things I did to make it lovely intact, like the hand-painted wallpaper I did in two of the rooms and the bursting meadow our front. Of course, I have to let go of any attachment to that. But still.
I’ve also had some moments of panic realizing that I have never moved where there is a boat involved. What if the ferry with our moving truck on it sinks, taking my piano, my photographs and all of my material life with it? It’s a silly worry, I know, but every now and then I get this vision of the next-to-last scene from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou in my head and cannot get it out. Now that I think of it, it’s an especially silly worry since both sides of my family came over here on big ferry boats, too, even though they came from islands (or almost-island: the Italian side were living in Venice when they emigrated, so) TO a mainland, instead of the opposite way around. Maybe I just need to think of myself as following a family tradition, which could be good since most of our family traditions are not at all pleasant and should be avoided at all costs.
Between packing, moving and unpacking, possible hiccups in getting everything set up and connected, and the strong desire to just settle into the hammock once we get there and never come out, I anticipate a silence from me for the next couple of weeks.
Thanks to everyone who gave me some tips on professional no-saying, by the way. Very much appreciated and highly helpful! Also, if you haven’t seen them via my Flickr feed already, there are some pics up of the new place to peek at here.
Bon voyage to me!