One of the things I have a lot of trouble with is people not showing up in a way I can count on. I’m not saying anyone has lost sleep over my not posting here for so long, but I do feel a connection and a relationship with you who have subscribed to this blog and I apologize for having disappeared with no explanation.
I am packing up the condo I have lived in for almost sixteen years. It is too filled with ghosts and echoes for me to want to stay here, not to mention that it’s a good time to sell. It is, also, my home and leaving one’s home when one doesn’t know where one’s new “forever home” (is there such a thing?) will be is challenging. I am feeling unmoored, ungrounded. My friends point out that that is because I am.
I’m dealing with Artifacts again, only, this time, they’re my own and not what was left behind by my parents (both biological and step), aunt, grandparents. They do include what’s remaining from those forebears but also what’s left from the marriage that lasted more than three decades and that is now drawing to an official close, twenty-two-plus months after its unofficial but very definite ending. What is mine to keep? What do I want to keep? You can’t just erase more than thirty years of your life, and I don’t want to. Nor can I wax nostalgic over it.
I recognize that downsizing is part of the life cycle that I am now in. I realized some years back that we spend the first decades of our lives accumulating and the last ones—if we’re lucky enough to have the time and conscious enough to want to spare those who will be cleaning up after us an inordinate amount of work—letting go, letting go, letting go. Hundreds of photographs have made their way from envelopes and boxes into the trash in the last few weeks. I just came across 35mm negatives that my father had saved from the 1930s and 40s. I kept a few but most are gone. There are more envelopes of photos to go, as I sort and divide: His family. My family. His friends. My friends. Our friends? Our history? Who gets which pieces?
Now the heat is arriving full force in the Pacific Northwest, a part of the country particularly ill-equipped for 100-degree temperatures. I’m lucky. A friend put in a heat pump/air conditioning system last year and we’re good enough friends that I could invite myself to spend the weekend. So I’ll be leaving the condo, at least for a few days, before I leave it completely in about a month. But I can’t afford to take days off so I’ve packed up some of those boxes and envelopes of photographs and will park myself in my friend’s basement and see if, perhaps, being away from home will make the what to keep/what to toss/what to share decisions easier.
This process has made me much more insular. I don’t have the time or the energy to absorb much of the news of the world. No more meal prep with Chris Cuomo or dinner with D Lemon, at least for a while. I hope you don’t take my not writing about it (all the “it’s” that are making headlines) as a sign of my not caring. I look forward to getting back to writing and engaging with you through my words, and will do my best to stop by here along the way. In the meantime, I wish you cooling breezes and a healthy summer.