Monday, May 27, 2013

Time for Home


I have just as much time as anybody else. But time, probably for all of us, feels like the one thing there is never enough of.

A month ago, I got offered a new job. After a week of agonizing decision-making, I accepted it, although it felt like I didn't have enough time to decide.

As soon as I accepted the job and wrote up my resignation letter, I went on a weekend retreat on an island in Canada that had been planned by a friend for her birthday, months before. There wasn't enough time to pack, and once I was there, there wasn't enough time to hike the green-spring mountains, wander the white-shell beaches, sit at the fireside in the Hummingbird Pub or in front of the little stove in our luggage-crammed cabin and talk about stories and deep things, watch the lazy seals below and eagles above, to wait on the cliffside to see if the orca whales would put in an appearance. One evening, several of us sat in the hot tub on the cabin's deck for 4 hours, just talking...and it wasn't enough time. 

The new job was in a new city a couple of hours away...too far away for a daily commute.

Time to move.

I don't have enough time to pack my life up by myself, and so well-meaning friends and relatives have obligingly packed up most things, including the can opener, the corkscrew, salt and pepper, and most of my dishes. I saved the french press--multiple times.

I didn't have enough time to finish all the things I wanted to do at the old job, and it seems like there isn't enough time to cram in all the learning I need to fill my brain with for the new one.

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” - Leonard Bernstein

My new employers graciouslly offered me some precious time in the form of my first month's work letting me be in Bellingham on Fridays in order to wrap up all the work on me moving out, fixing up the house to be rented, and helping to manage the details of finding renters.

Friends in Seattle offered to let me stay at their house for 2 months, until my new apartment is ready, precious time with people who are helping me stay sane during this transition.

"We think the opposite of scarcity is abundance--more time, more money--when the opposite of scarcity is enough...just enough." -- Brene Brown

I wrapped up my fourth long weekend with Memorial Day, so I had even an extra day off. The home is empty, clean, and freshly painted, ready for the new vandals renters to destroy live in. I still feel a little bruised when I think of the almost-four years. My lavender bushes and herb garden, raised from seeds. The dark-purple lilac bush start from my mom, which I will never see blooming from my window. The tiny attic room with one blue wall and overlooking the garden. The green-velvet lawn I mowed every week of the summer, listening to U2, or Angels & Airwaves, or Vampire Weekend. The front porch where my sister and brother-in-law got engaged. 

My house was an anchor. I welcomed many dear old friends home from the far reaches of the world at Christmas and during the summers, and I loved that my house was the place to hold those precious gatherings. The walls are soaked with memories from new friends, too, game nights and movie nights, and decadent meals and pies and homemade pizza and the Great Piecaken Caper.

It is enough time...all it had to be. Enough, and the time is past.
It was a home, but I am not home yet.



Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn't hard to master; 
so many things seem filled 
with the intent to be lost 
that their loss is no disaster. 

Lose something every day. Accept 
the fluster of lost door keys, 
the hour badly spent. 
The art of losing isn't hard to master. 

Then practice losing farther, losing faster: 
places, and names, 
and where it was you meant to travel. 
None of these will bring disaster. 

I lost my mother's watch. And look! 
my last, or next-to-last, 
of three loved houses went. 
The art of losing isn't hard to master. 

I lost two cities, lovely ones. 
And, vaster, some realms I owned, 
two rivers, a continent. 
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster. 

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) 
I shan't have lied. It's evident 
the art of losing's not too hard to master 
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

-roots & reasoning-

No matter how common
The sense is
For a tree to start
walking, if only a few steps,
just to make
space
for something good
like a bird bath, or
to allow a sapling sunlight,
the moving still
does violence to the roots
not made for moving but for growing deeper.

And yes, recovery will come along
by threads within and green above
an almost-imperceptible re-learning
to trust the earth you're in.