Monday, July 16, 2007

the week of The Move, cont'd

Two years ago, I did it: I went through a move to top all moves and I was as tough as both the Two Men and their Truck, and then some.

I was a bulldozer. I forged ahead and made decisions left and right and within days of the move I had a housewarming event and it was all so… without contemplation.

This time, I have more space and time to consider what I am doing.

Ed asks daily: Why the sad look?

I answer with a sigh. Amazing how many questions you can deflect with a sigh. (And how annoying this is to the person who asks.)

This move should be easy. I downsized hugely two years ago. And today, I drove off with another truckload of STUFF to St Vinnie’s.

So why is it not easy?

It is a move of choice, not of necessity. I have my own self to question and beat up on. It’s as if all the moves of my life, including the grand one, to come here, to the States, are right before me and I am judge and jury to them all: what if I had skipped that one? Stayed there instead? What if? What if?

It may be that this is my last move. It may be that I am to be in a building that has all the geriatric elements of condo life: an elevator, someone to take care of common spaces, so that all you have to do is tend to the life within. You lock your door to your unit and no one will notice the stacks of newspapers and pet food you accumulate until your door is broken down because of the odors seeping into the hallway.

Somehow, I don’t think so. I live with a demon inside that always is looking for a chance to pull me out of my home life and place me back in some little hut in the south of France. Or, more likely, I’ll move some day to a hotel room and become on of those eccentrics who thinks their art cannot survive unless they have their bed turned down each evening and their cigar dish emptied regularly. I don’t smoke, but you get the picture.

Forever displaced. Forever ripped from a community (what community? Where is it – in Poland? New York? Madison?).

It is no wonder that topping my "to do" list each day is the imperative to go out and get even more flowers to plant in my already too crowded patio. (And I haven't even moved yet!) So that I can at least get myself dirty again. You can't question dirt under the fingernails. People who lose themselves in pulling weeds and transplanting strawberries from one spot to another understand that. Working the soil makes you untouchable. Especially to your own self-examination.


All this is not to say that I am oblivious to the absolutely enchanting canvas that is life in and around Madison in the summer. Yes, I pause and I look, every single day. How can I not notice it? Minutes away from either residence -- the old, the new -- the meadow that holds it all together for me.