For months now, I’ve been looking at the furniture in my apartment, and wondering what to keep. Luxurious in terms of world disaster, and time. I will end a job contract in a few weeks, and being on the job market has brought up all those issues of change, transition, decisions. I’ve been coping by catching up on Grey’s Anatomy–the television show, not the book. Oh, would that I were the person who would spend her leisure hours pouring over a book out of her field. Alas. I’m almost through Season Three, and have gotten to know these television characters well. They have steady jobs.
I’ve lived here nearly seven years. I can walk to my favorite coffee shop now and know I’ll find a welcome, and an ear. In a Buddhist-influenced town, people often just listen, not give all the advice that I never take anyway. How can I leave? How can I leave my yoga sangha? Slow growth friendships that mean something? I’ve moved enough to know that friendships and practice drift away.
Should I keep the chair if I move? It has good lines. When I moved out here, I left my good chair, my very good bureau, my beautiful desk, much of my library, all manner of furniture, paintings, plants. Now I live on a third of what I used to have, but because I have remained rooted in one apt for several years, am comfortable.
What do I take, what do I leave behind? Can I do it with becoming paralyzed with tears, an annoying habit I developed a hundred years ago, in college, my last year, when I had to pack up. Then, I was going to graduate school in the fall. I was on the verge.
Tosa Mitsuoki. Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maple with Poem Slips (detail), 1654/81. Kate S. Buckingham Endowment.
Today I want to tie poems onto tree branches and send their thoughts fluttering.