Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On Moving

I've identified a pattern we follow when moving. Where shall I begin? Really it's more of a loop. It goes something like this. First, when preparing to move, I look around our home and think to myself, or out loud to Joel, "It won't be that bad. We don't actually have that much stuff. I think it should be pretty easy.These are three complete lies.They are the lies that we all tell ourselves because otherwise we would never find a way to muster the courage to go through with the move. But, they are lies nonetheless. Next,convinced by my own lies, I forge ahead, every time. I get going and pack and pack. These are the neat, tidy boxes that are easy to put together. Once they're complete, it feels like we should be done! But we are far from done. This is when we enter the detritus stage, the point at which the entire house seems to be filled and littered with junk that multiplies when I turn my back and whose origin I cannot fathom or recall to save my life. "Where did all this stuff come from?!" I exclaim in agony, hands in the air, pleading with some higher detritus power who refuses to save me. Ugh. We all know that phase, am I right? It feels impossible, but there is only one thing to do.This prompts the adrenaline fueled, frantic resolution. Somehow, through sheer will power, we manage to do one of two things: Pack and move all the junk because we simply don't know what else to do. Or, throw it all away out of the same misery. Both scenarios are problematic. Obviously, one should not move junk, nor should it just be thrown away when much of it is still useful and could be donated and reused by someone else. Sigh. Finally, I swear up and down that the next time we move, it will all be different. I make grand claims along the lines of, "I am going to get rid of everything we don't use and love," or the similar, but equal, "I will only pack things I will be genuinely excited to UNPACK!" Groan. How on earth does one attain such an ideal?

Hold on. I actually know exactly how to attain such an ideal. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll remember my poetic waxing ad nauseam over this book. I got more than a little inspired and told anyone who would listen. I got half way through the papers category and then lost steam. Those huge bags of must-be-shredded papers are still sitting by our back door. Fail! I guess today, I will drop them off at Staples or similar for shredding and get on with the list. It really needs to happen. Otherwise, I will succumb to the same usual fate outlined above. And we can't have that.

Oh, and I forgot the last lie I tell myself every time we move: That I will never do it again. Ha! Here we go again. Wish us luck! xx

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Good Read: Hausfrau

Last weekend I zipped through the novel Hausfrau at an astonishing rate. It was so good. The author, Jill Alexander Essbaum, is a poet and her use of alliteration, imagery and metaphor is phenomenal. The book is set in Zurich, which despite the dark subject matter, made me so homesick for the trams and trains, the lake, the winding streets and parks, even the horrible, depressing fog. How is that possible? I'd really like to know.

I've struggled all year with wondering what our life would have been like if we had stayed in Zurich this year instead of taking a leap of faith on the job opportunities that cropped up here in Duluth. What would Theo's birth have been like? Would he have had the same birthday? Would Coco's potty training have stuck the first time around or would we have had the same regression after Theo came along anyway? How would we have all fit into our tiny apartment? I think about holidays, seasons, friends, daily life. What would it all have been like? Would it have been better than what we experienced here? Probably. This has wound up being the most difficult and challenging year of our lives. In what ways might staying in Zurich have been better? In what ways worse?

Reading Hausfrau only plunged me deeper into that dark, melancholy and really pointless line of thinking. We are nearly ten months on and I'm still struggling with the fact that we left Zurich too soon.. I still weep for the life we didn't finish there. But here we are. Moving onward and (hopefully) upward.

If you haven't read Hausfrau, I highly recommend it. It's dark, dirty, contemplative, riddled and compelling. In a strange way, it gave me the beginning sense of closure that I needed on our Zurich chapter.

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