May 9, 2007
On their way…
Paperwork for three, count ‘em, three near-simultaneous escrows has been flying back and forth the past few days. Everyone is on board and funded. Us, for the home we’re about to purchase on San Juan Island; our friends and neighbors who are buying our house, and the person who is buying their house. Even Balanchine might not have been able to choreograph such a tenuous dance. This weekend we threw our second (in what threatened to become a quarterly tradition) going-away party, and it was a blast: so many fabulous, loving people in our home (again!). My brain has recovered enough from the sting of December’s disappointment to actually trust and believe that Monday morning, Charles, Smudge, Moses and I will be driving up Pacific Coast Highway with the vision of Los Angeles’ desperately dry hills in our rear view mirror.
One reaches a certain age where the romance of packing endless boxes loses its sheen, and for the first time in our lives we’ve scheduled the movers to do the packing for us. I see this as a sure sign of adulthood, or laziness, but I have no shame. Nonetheless, ever the Capricorn control freak, I spent this evening packing all the “little” things, so that the movers can just deal with the big things like the frightening contents of the closet in my studio.
I never think of myself as having much stuff, since other than additions for my studio, I don’t acquire a lot of store-bought material goods. But last night I went through the house and collected every rock, shell and other natural accouterment with which I’ve gradually adorned my life over a number of years and beach walks. As I rinsed each one and laid it out on the kitchen counter to dry, I was amazed by just how many things I indeed have. Each piece is special, otherwise I wouldn’t lug it up to the island. But it’s funny how only yesterday it had all blended into the decor, and now that I stare at the collection in its dislocated state, it seems almost overwhelming. Pictured above, a few stragglers. Had you seen the kitchen yesterday you would have laughed (where IS the counter?). The contents of these boxes is highly geological and biological in nature. Logically.
George Carlin had a brilliant bit about “stuff” in his routine years ago, and it rings true every time any of us pack up our lives to move a block or a country away: no matter where you go, you gotta have your “stuff.” I was struck and amused tonight by what my “stuff” really is. I’m going to another seaside home. I’ll be spending huge amounts of time investigating my new surroundings and bringing home artifacts of discovery. The rocks and shells from the Haro Strait will be wonderfully different. And yet in various places of our new home, these new additions will meld with my past: recorded in rocks and shells that migrated north with me, testament to my own geology of personal evolution.