My cross-country move from Portland East to Portland West is – well, moving right along. The van will be here next Wednesday, just six days now, and boxes are being packed in good time.
Years ago, before smokers became pariahs, there was a joke – I don't remember if it was family or cultural – something about selling a car when the ashtray got full. A similar thought applies to moving – it is the best way I know of ridding oneself of junk.
My biggest difficulty is that in a couple of cases, zealous eagerness to finish a room left me without a kitchen tool, a certain sweater or, in one instance, a tape measure I needed. Not a big deal.
Nor is my part in the move. I have mentioned that I've done this many times and the distance makes no difference. Across the country or across town, every item owned must be touched, appraised for its worth to keep or not, then wrapped, placed in a box and sealed so that the contents won't rattle, shift or break. Tedious, but not hard.
My thoughts run in two directions: on the one hand, I wonder how, even with more than 30 big, black bags of trash and other detritus gone, I came to own so much. On the other, I ask if this – these plain brown packing boxes - is all there is to my life.
As the drawers, cupboards and closets are emptied and my personal stamp on this living space disappears, I am in a kind of limbo, feeling less attached to one place but not yet to another. On the day the van leaves next week, Ollie the cat and I will move into a hotel – by definition, anonymous and temporary.
In addition, I saw my new home in Lake Oswego only twice so aside from the obvious – beds, sofa, dining table, desk - I can't envision well where everything will go because I have forgotten the details of the rooms. I don't know how I will fit and move around in that space.
None of this is new; I have felt it in past moves. It is just disconcerting for a short while.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, polkadot22: Units of Time