I spent much of the day yesterday helping a friend pack up her home and start moving. This morning I read this lovely poem by Hiro Boga: Going Away and about Jen Louden’s determination to just stay put. The rupture that is moving is on my mind.
I usually think moving is easy for me – a childhood of moving has helped me be more flexible, make new friends quickly, and live rather minimally to make the physical process of moving simpler. Odd then to talk with another friend yesterday who said, “A childhood of moving has made me want to hang on to more stuff, ground myself with physical mementos of the places I’ve lived.” He needs a thread of home visible in the stuff that surrounds him.
Odd too to watch my friend – an admitted shopaholic and hoarder – sort through her piles of crafting supplies to decide what will get moved, what will be stored, and what should just be trashed. The crafter in her sees the possibility in everything; her gift is that she sees what everything could be, rather than what it actually is. The emotional connection to each tiny, sweet thing she imagines is so deep, I felt like I was asking a mother to abandon her child when I would ask if she could give up on that tiny, sweet crafting project she held in her mind’s eye. Heartbreak. Devastation. I could only push her to let go of so much. The early steps of the process of learning how to let go of lesser projects so we can have time for our best projects is itself a tiny, sweet thing.
I feel like there are lessons in all this for me too, but for now I’m just full of questions. Am I avoiding something by not hanging on to a thread of home? Yes, there’s something to be said about not being overly attached, but there’s also a problem in pushing away a deep longing for home. Where am I on this continuum of attachment and avoidance? How much of my pull to move to San Francisco is me just continuing to bounce around to find some semblance of home outside of me?
And while I’m not one to be hugely attached to things, I am ridiculously attached to so many projects to organize my community for good. How do I practice letting go of lesser projects so I can have time for my best projects? I sense that I keep my little projects not only because they are a tiny, sweet thing that deserves love, but because I’m terrified of what might happen if I choose one or two to raise into beautiful adult projects. What if I choose the wrong ones? What if they get out of hand? What if they don’t turn out as I’d hoped?
So much fear. So much at stake. So much loss. So much to gain. Stuck at the crossroads is a hard place to be.