This recent move is my 23rd. I have lived in no less than 23 homes. I am not counting all the temporary/in-between houses I resided in as well…like the apartment my family lived in for the summer while we looked for housing in Hawaii, or the mobile home we lived in while my parents house hunted in San Antonio, or the times I lived with friends or in hotels or cottages…the impermanent places. One might argue that after 23 homes, there was no permanence really. But in my heart, each of these “places” became “homes.” This is the life of a child of a career military man.
With every move came packing and unpacking. Sometimes we stored our possessions only to recover them years later and find we had outgrown our stuff. It’s been three months that I have been without the majority of my possessions. They arrived from their hibernation in a storage unit and their long trek across the country just a few days ago. As I have unpacked I have rediscovered items I have carried with me one way or another since I was a child.
a deck of cards
my teddy bear and Raggedy Ann
various pins from races/events I entered as a kid
my Baptism dress
my green yoyo
a little blue plexiglass box with a bead, a dairy key, and small squares of fabric inside
my childhood rosaries( you really can’t get rid of a rosary can you?)
the very first crochet hook I ever owned, given to me by my Grandmother
an afghan I began as a kid and completed when I was in high college(crochet with the above mentioned hook)
my flokati rug doll from Turkey
my childhood scrapbook
I am sure I will find some more as I unpack. I cannot part with any of these things. Often I feel as if I am unconnected to any place on this earth, that I have never been in a place long enough to be noticed or remembered. These pieces of my past remind me that I have an identity and presence, they are tangible reminders that I am connected to my own history.
After maybe 30 minutes of attempting to design and print my own wedding invitations, Chris convinced me to head to Anders Printing to look at what they had to offer.
Once again, I have learned the lesson that paying for the talents of others is worth it, every time. Yes, I could have made my own invitations, but at what cost. The paper, the envelopes, the ink, the decisions I’d have to make…the mistakes I’d make making those decisions. And more importantly, the time. My time, Chris’s time. We have so precious little time as it is. Together in general, and specifically in terms of our wedding.
Pay the good people with the talent and tools. Lesson learned.
I came home from work today, entered the door I walked out of nine hours before. My beloved Luka crouched low wanting to leap, but restraining. What a good dog. Really, she is. Others say this about their dogs, but Luka is different. She’s a good dog, plain and simple.
After I took my good dog to the park, I made a lovely pot of red curry with vegetables. There’s something particularly satisfying about having all the ingredients you need for a really good dish surprisingly on hand. I followed a recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, and made a batch of brown rice.
Eating it made me warm and happy. It’s important to take care of oneself. Sometimes I forget to nurture myself as well as I nurture those around me. Now, with a full belly, and a lovely cup of Earl Grey I feel content.
How I do this is like keeping up a house. Day to day maintenance. Just the little things that add up over time. The changing of a lightbulb and the cleaning of the gutters. Easy to let go for too long and the house becomes dark and the leaves pile up. My grandmother changed the curtains every season. Winter windows covered in heavy drapes to keep the warm air in, lacey white sheers to let the sun in in spring.
I do the same with home that is me. Maintaining my sanity day by day, constantly clearing the clutter of my mind and changing the curtains to let more light in. It is not easy. The thoughts pile up bigger than dust bunnies, more like a house with too many dogs and no vacuum.
But each day, the simple things matter. The walk to the park, the cup of tea in my pale green mug, a book and a blanket, the words of some poet or yogi, and if I am lucky the company of another. Why it is this way I do not know. It has always been this way. The constant vigilance can be exhausting, is exhausting, but I have no other option. Though often I have imagined it and wanted it.
So I chalk up a day as just one in line behind another. Neither good nor bad, it makes it easier that way. I wish sometimes it were different. I forget that sometimes it is.
is elusive these days..
I’m in a constant state of twilight
never fully awake,
never fully asleep
I dream of dreaming
last night I counted minutes into hours into morning
never once losing the pull of mind and awakeness
Pasithea, the goddess of hallucination, keeps me company..
while Hypnos keeps his distance
the two shall share my company
I woke up to a beautiful morning and a world of possibilty…then I panicked. I hate that I do this. It seems that whenever I am offered a day to do anything I want, I become overwhelmed with the choices. I fear I’ll turn a potentially perfect day into a wasted one. I wish I knew why I did this, but more urgently I need to know how not to do this.
Part of this started with the realization that tomorrow I will be in a six hour CPR class…on what is supposed to be an incredibly beautiful day. I’ll be trapped inside! I initially thought to myself, blow it off. Call in, sign up for a class at another time. I could drive up to Bellingham, see my niece, such a better plan. But the reality is, I need to take this class. And who’s to say that the next time I sign up for it won’t be as lovely a day.
And then there’s tax prep I need to get done, and Luka, and my garden, and spring cleaning, and wasn’t I going to rearrange my house, and paint, and clean the windows……aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.
So I turned to my yoga. I came to the mat with sadness over my pulled hamstrings and the frustration of having lost my once flexible body. This is where I am. And I must start everyday at a new beginning. As a teacher I will tell my students this. As a yogini I must live this. I cannot ruin a perfect day. No day is inherently better than any other. It is my perception that gives a day value. In that still place where God resides and I am, I know differently.
I am what I believe…let me believe only in love.
as above so below.