Last week I felt as if I could see some light at the end of the tunnel; we would not spend the rest of our lives moving from one house to another, and I before long I would once again be able to honor other commitments and pastimes (such as composing blogs). Although I believe that ultimately nothing but good would come of all this, there have been moments in which I have regretted ever setting this ball into motion.
Relocating is painful on so many levels. Disruption of routine, domestic chaos, and the cosmic joke that now that you are leaving, all that was broken is finally being fixed. And then there is everything that literally comes tumbling out of the closets.
A lifetime of being acquisitive is exposed and I find myself in a state of atonement. Privately, I am glad that most of my collection has been culled from thrift stores, (recycled goods, money to a good cause, and the fact that much of it will go back to where it came from), and that books are my greatest vice. I am seriously considering the virtues of minimalism but remind myself that even Donald Judd had a capacious library.
The dust will settle.
A week ago I took a break from this process for an appointment at the Benson Henry Mind Body Institute with Dr. Ann Webster. In two weeks I will begin the program she leads to help patients cope with their cancer diagnosis. It is my expectation that I will learn some new techniques for derailing stress.
I also had a very special date with a new friend, Jackie, who had served as a member of a panel at the same conference where I’d first encountered Dr. Webster. I had been taken by Jackie’s words and presence, and contacted her through the site on Etsy, belle hattie, where she sells handcrafted bags.
Jackie and I went out for a late lunch (pancakes, actually) and chatted about, well, everything. We have an astounding number of commonalities. Curious stuff such as a shared belief in certain rituals…we were meant to meet each other and I’m only surprised it took so long.
And now (see above photo) I have truly taken a break from it all to come to Bethesda for a few days in honor of my friend Sally’s birthday. Sally picked me up at the airport in Baltimore on Sunday morning and we stopped at a farmer’s market in Dupont Circle. Dinner was margaritas and fish tacos (she is one of those people who just whips up terrific food like it’s no big deal) . Yesterday we went out for a pan asian lunch, shopped at Ikea and had a treat of ‘tropical’ ice cream at a little cafe in Silver Spring where I had my first saffron and soursap cone.
After a delicious meal of grilled chicken, we took a walk on the historic Towpath along the C & O Canal and the Potomac. Fireflies were winking on and off and cicadas buzzed overhead. We spotted two beavers in the canal and heard an owl. Nature in the midst of a densely populated urban area: I love it.
Last night was movie night with popcorn and The Swiss Family Robinson as Sally’s daughter Ella struggled to stay awake (so did the grown ups) . We succumbed shortly before midnight. They left the house early this morning for a doctor’s appointment, but I slept in and am now finishing this blog far from the pressure of unopened boxes and my own calendar. Luxury!
Sally and Ella will arrive home shortly, and we will wish my friend her official Happy Birthday. And then a few short hours later, I will be back on a plane to New Hampshire. What a lovely break it has been.