The Move (part I)

How do you dismantle a life?  How do you take it apart, pack it away, give it away, throw it in the garbage, sell??  How do you make judgement calls on all of the memories, imprinted into object, translated onto the tangible?  What do you trash and what do you treasure??

I am moving.  I didn’t know I was moving, but sometimes things just happen and before you know it, you’re on a slingshot trajectory to Lord knows where, but there’s no use in even thinking about turning back now, because there is simply: no turning back now.

I took another job teaching at a Moksha studio.  This time, for two months in Prince Edward Island.  After a few unfruitful attempts to sublet my apartment furnished, my next-door neighbours,  pregnant with their second child and in need of more space said they would be interested in taking over my apartment—albeit unfurnished.

Which gives me exactly three weeks to get rid of a 3-bedroom, fully and almost lavishly bespeckled apartment by somewhat of a junk-collecting artist/hoarder with a giant basement with plenty of room for extra….junk.  (Oui, c’est moi. )

I moved into this apartment in the middle of a break-up, somewhere along the lines of Round Three in a five-year, five-round relationship.   So at that point, there was still hope.  And as I look around at all of these things, I realize that I nested and built this imaginary life on hope alone.  I rented this apartment and I lived in its’ potential, thinking, “This place will be good for a couple—one day.”  And it took me a pretty long time to realize that maybe some things are just broken.  Sometimes love just ain’t enough.  And maybe, I should start living in my potential instead of the potential of a person or an address.

When I started packing things up, sorting, selling…opening up my apartment to weekend Garage Sal-ers; wheeling and dealing in my vintage store of memoires, I find humour in the things I am attached to.

A meat thermometer.  A ten-dollar metal thingamagig that can be found anywhere, but has perfectly cooked a whole lot of Thanksgiving turkeys for some very important people in my life.

Looking around this room, this pop-up store which once was my apartment, I realize that objects can only absorb a limited amount of memoires.  They can become oversaturated, infused with too many associations.  The meat thermometer I keep because it’s small and, based on the delightful expressions on the grease-stained lips of my turkey eaters, pretty bang-on.  However, the couch, stained with promises, hopes, tears, wine and disappointment (in no particular order)—that fucker has got to go!

Montreal is a city that has filled me with some of the best and some of the worst memories in my life.  Its’  sultry summers, winding balconies, tarnished copper, beautiful, strange people, cobblestone walkways, meandering bike paths, gonging churches, snowy ice-rinks, exotic language, vivid markets, wine and parks and picnics and music has taught me how romantic life can be, with or without a partner.  And yet, its’ sidewalks, streets and cafes are haunted by little ghosts of love lost.  What once was mysterious and new is now familiar.  The proverbial sex-life is non-existent.  For that matter, so is the non-proverbial one.

I sometimes feel like a tornado has spun through this city, bringing me the best of friends who felt like family; as a group we gathered like a force that rested in the calm eye of the storm, so that we might, for a spell, imagine a life where we’d be together forever.  And then ultimately the same storm that blew them in, swept them right back out again, dispersing them to foreign destinations, Oz, and all of the other magical places in their lives.

Its’ conic currents blew in the tempest of a huge, heart-wrenching love that spun around in circles and circles for years and years, before finally, it broke and then blew itself to a calmer land by the sea.

And so, I know it is time.  Time to change.  Move on.  Let go.

One person does not need to own so much stuff so that she can furnish an apartment for three.

(To be continued)….in the meantime, Happy New Year!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lara Bettis
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 14:34:16

    Jen,
    I read your blog every so often and each time your words really resonate with me. This one especially. It’s somewhat comforting to know others out there have the same sorts of thoughts and feelings. So thank you for sharing and Happy New Year!

    Reply

  2. Rhonda
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 15:18:31

    I so love the way you write. XO

    Reply

  3. patty brandts
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 15:30:35

    Jen,
    This might embarrass you having your mom post here, but when I read your blog, I couldn’t be more proud than if you won a Pulitzer prize!!! Your writing is SO evocative and you are very brave to put yourself out there as you do week after week with your thoughts, insights and feelings. I am so very lucky to have you as a daughter. I just KNOW that great adventures await you in 2012. Love you, dear girl!!

    Reply

  4. Sarah
    Jan 01, 2012 @ 15:09:48

    Love you my sweet sister! We are so a like in many ways and I love being able to connect with you even from so far away. XO

    Reply

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