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.

Photo by Ruth Neuwald Falcon

12 Comments

  1. Best of luck, Ruth, in your move and new endeavors. It appears from your writing that you don’t yet have a new place but I assume you always have a place to lay your head. I hope the new abode will be a good one. I’m wondering if you’re still going to be in the PNW? Here in Medford it’ll be 113 degrees this weekend and 100-102 for the next 10 days. Who knows what’ll happen to all is us this summer. Sending love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth, I am sending you all the love and pride and strength and awe and power and extra extra decision making oomph, as you go through this immense transition and onward. Enjoy the time traveling. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your journey with us. I’m sending you love, light, and my best wishes, as you decide what to keep, what to let go, and what’s next in your life.
    Love,
    Marilyn

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your thoughts expressed in your words are always from the soul. I wish we had stayed closer as friends over the years. Your difficulties at a time in life that should be so much easier are heart wrenching. All the best to you Ruth as you navigate this part of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aloha, dear Ruth. Thank you for your beautifully written message. Sending heartfelt blessings and hopes that you will quickly be able to be at peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My dear friend…I feel sad that I haven’t reached out to you sooner, since I truly meant to do so when I had not seen anything on the blog for quite a while. I am afraid that I got caught up in the situations in my own life.

    After having gone through a divorce in 1989 after thirty years of marriage, I do have an understanding of what you are going through and that you have been doing so for close to two years. Aside from the emotional issues, moving is not easy under any circumstances.

    I am sending you wishes for all of these next steps to get easier and easier, and I look forward to your ability, when the move is completed, to return to putting forth the wonderful blog!

    I also send you much love and compassion, dear Ruth.

    Ellin

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Welcome and sympathies on the move. I have not yet lived 16 years in my condo, but the longest I have ever lived anywhere—even counting family of origin. The association of place with the marriage adds yet more to deal with. I’m available if needed.

    Jude

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sending you love and support. What a strange and challenging and lonely year and a half it’s been. I’m always wishing you well and sending strength to you, Ruth.

    🤗 Shari

    Shari Rosner (she/her)

    Remember the 3 Ws: “Watch your (6 feet) distance, wear a mask [or two], wash your hands.” – Francis Collins, Director NIH

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Ruth, I have been giving a lot of thought to your announcement that you are moving. But to where? I know you are a New Yorker by heart. Promise to stay in touch.

    Liked by 1 person

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