something happens to vault me down to my heart. Naturally, I’m a writer. And am therefore constantly conjuring plots and characters. Or working on an article.
So this move from our Nevada home for the last eighteen years merely consisted of jumping through the hoops of keeping the house as nearly perfect as possible for all the showings.
Then negotiating with realtors and buyers.
And accepting the offer, jumping through more hoops of all the inspections-you know, you’ve been there.
And then deciding to divest…free yourself from stuff. Books, furniture, clothes, paintings. All good, healthy, even environmentally sound because there is no better time to strip ourselves of things that simply take up space.
Right. Saturday morning dawned with feelings of justifiable pride for both John and me. The inspections could not have gone better. Absent a couple of glitches which a good friend solved for us, done.
Plus our new buyers have decided they want about two thirds of the furniture, may actually be three quarters.
Astounding…filled with gratitude.
A neighbor answered an local ad we had placed for the sale of four bookcases:my two, along with two of John’s.
Piece of cake, right?
At least, that’s what I thought as I busily filled boxes with book after book, lugged them into the garage. And then got to the shelf where I kept copies of my textbook, dissertation, files of all the articles from my academic medicine days, my CV. And stopped. Still. As if I’d been unplugged.
John walked in just then and looked at me as I pointed at the textbook. Unsaid was, “How can I part with this?”
Shrugging, he said, “I’ve not seen you pick that up in the last year or even the last five years, but do what you want…I’m going for a walk before it gets too hot- you might think about doing that too.
A few minutes later, the dogs and I were walking along the dirt road I’ve walked thousands of times and I was aware of how exhausted I felt. How…say it. Sad.
As I walked along, I reflected on those words: Why is it so hard?
Why is what so hard?
Finally parting with the tangible outcomes of so very many years of work. Plus no bookcases.
But maybe there’s a little more here. Maybe it’s that I live in my head until suddenly have to deal with good-byes…and why maybe I’m not alone in disliking change.
I realized this is what my friends and family have been telling me for a while now. Whether they using phrases like moving is one of the highest stressors or losses or just something like, “big move…after eighteen years..,” I’d been shrugging it off.
My husband John is right. I had not touched that textbook in over five years. Had not looked at the dissertation in ten. And the files of articles and CV’s? Probably not since I put them on the shelf accept to dust them. It’s way past time to get rid of them.
But as I stared at the box patiently awaiting the materials, the fatigue swept over me like a shroud. And on our walk that morning we had watched the small herd of deer cross the road ahead, leaping…free, unencumbered. That is, after all the point, right?
Then I thought about Seymour’s face when I pushed his bed over to the other side of the room to empty the bookcases. His brows contracted and eyes widened.
“That’s my bed. I never use it but it’s my bed. Why have you moved it?’
I know just how he felt. Seymour’s bed is back in place now. At least for another couple of weeks.
Not the textbook, files of articles, CV’s and copies of the dissertation. They have finally made it to the box. And I have no bookcases.
The prologue of my first novel ends with this quote from St. Teresa of Avila.
The Fragrance Shed By a Violet
Let nothing dismay thee.
All things pass.
God never changes.
Patience acquires all that is strived for.
She who has God finds that she lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.