Upheaval

You must have moved before, you’ve been there too, right? Chaos, disorder, and turmoil are constant. Tempers are short, routines are disrupted. If I dare to look, I find fear simmers just under the surface. What am I getting into?

 

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As I pack, odd bits of the past bubble up. In a bookcase I find my mother’s High School yearbook, dated 1941, with inscriptions to “Petey.”Β  But, her name was Helen. I didn’t know they called her Petey, and it strikes me as bizarre because Pete was the name of her adored older brother. He would have graduated a few years before, her friends would have known him, and maybe he was so important to her that her friends jokingly called her by his name. And no wonder I didn’t know about that nickname, because in my memory Uncle Pete’s name was hardly ever spoken. He died way too young, from brain cancer. He left a wife, three small kids and a grief-stricken sister who would bury her sadness deep, the way relics from the past are buried around my house.

 

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But that’s a distraction, and there are so many distractions these days, as we sort through the piles. A random photo of a temple in Japan surfaces, my grandmother’s distinctive handwriting scrawled across the back. It’s from a trip my grandparents took all the way around the world, in 1959.Β  A tattered composition book appears and crumbles in my hands. Opening it slowly, I find dozens of newspaper recipes pasted across its brittle pages or pinned to them with straight pins. A recipe for fish cakes is penciled on a torn calendar page dated June 11, 1929. What a distraction this book could be: my grandmother’s recipe file from the middle of the Great Depression. I resist diving into the old book. There’s clothing that doesn’t fit to sort through and bag for the thrift store, and too many books are accumulating in stacks on the floor.

Then, inside a basket that was untouched for years, I find Pablo’s cat toys. My old orange tabby cat died six years ago, just after we moved here. Finding this bag of his toys puts a temporary halt to packing progress as sure as a red light stops traffic. But I will move on.

 

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So many histories vie for my attention. Like stray hairs, they keep me unfocused: I go out to do an errand and forget my keys. Sleep is interrupted by mental bedlam as my brain scrambles to cope with all the details. Dust has made itself at home, settling into the air we breathe. The living room is crowded with flattened boxes collected from Starbucks and anywhere else we can find them. Soon they will be filled, taped shut, labeled, loaded into a moving van and transported 71 miles north, to a new life.

 

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So many questions – what will life feel like in the new town? Will the house be as quiet as we hope it will be? How will we fit our lives and routines into the new space? Will the birds come when we put feeders up? Where will I get my afternoon double espresso? Will we be happy in this new place? What difficulties lie ahead that I can’t even imagine?

 

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In spite of the doubts and fears, I do have faith that it will work out, but right now we are living in barely controlled chaos, and let’s face it, it’s not comfortable. I know it’s counterproductive to push the discomfort away. I just have to live it – not live WITH it, but simply live it, as best I can. So here is my offering to the gods of disruption: five images expressing the current state of affairs, chaos and all.

 

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These photos – well, what can I say? All except one were taken recently. Some were mistakes that I kept, others were experiments. I played with them until they seemed to reflect how I feel. I live with an art therapist so I know that’s a good thing to do! πŸ™‚


88 comments

  1. Your images reminded me of a painting I did long ago – when I smiled to the world while my private life was a nightmare. I often disconnected and drove to a quiet place, walked into the woods, sat on a stool I took with me, and first drew then painted a tangle of old vines. A good friend knew without knowing that something was terribly wrong, and when I showed her the finished painting, she exclaimed, ‘it’s the best you’ve ever done!’ beyond those vines was a patch of sunlit yellows and greens, and i had to find my way through (and i did!) to return to the light! whew, but yes, i send empathy, and thank you for sharing what’s happening in your world.

    i am not painting this week.. i did not paint last week. a neighbor is cutting down bamboo and felling lots of trees, and it assaults the senses. i’m trying to figure out how i fit into this picture, as i rent – and i don’t want to become a chico mendes if i report it.. yet —– so it’s all incubating, as to what to do, as slowly the vistas change… they started at 7:30 this morning…

    if you were my neighbor, i’d say, ‘let’s go have a triple cafe con cacao mocha-mocha-mocha-what?!!!!

    hopefully your new location will bring you lots of joy, and for sure you’ll find beauty – it’s one of your gifts! ..

    • What an interesting story about your own art therapy… I don’t think it’s a coincidence that you chose a “tangle of old vines” – how descriptive is that of difficult emotional times? And you made something beautiful, which is no surprise, because so much went into it.
      I had to look up Mendes – no, you don’t want that! You are in a very delicate, difficult situation but you’re doing the smart thing, letting it all percolate before taking any action. In the meantime I hope you have islands of calm in there, somewhere.
      Yes, amiga, if we were neighbors we’d be sharing some kind of coffee, and lots more….and yes for sure the new place will be lots of fun. We’ve been going to that area since we moved here and have always loved it. When I worked, it was way too far away. Now we’re free to move anywhere, and the cost of living is a bit less there. Also, the stress of living in the middle of the Seattle building and population boom will be behind us. So, all good but still unsettling as we go through the changes.

  2. You WILL get through this just fine! It’s good to sort through stuff and clear things out. I think it’s close to a year since I moved down here and we’re in the middle of redoing the stair treads and painting the stairwell top to bottom… oh the joy! at least you won’t have the prolonged ‘joy’ of remodeling… πŸ˜€ (think on that one!!!) πŸ˜€

    • I know, and thanks for the encouragement. It’s not really too b ad but it’s keeping me from the normal routines of taking photographs and blogging, so I thought this was appropriate. It absolutely is good to sort through and organize all this stuff! And there are many people in the world with far more difficult problems. πŸ™‚

  3. Oh man, I totally get it. I moved twice in the span of two years– the first from my home of 20 years and the second from a place I was happy to leave. We all have our own stories when it comes to moving, but the chaos is pretty universal. All that sorting, all that packing– all those photographs. Empty a drawer and it multiples fivefold. And why did we save all those ___ (fill in the blank)!? Is it worth moving condiments? What about olive oil? And then there’s the garage. So much packing tape, never enough boxes. I tried to carve out at least one space of refuge until the final days. I hope you will find refuge too (maybe in the afternoon espresso), until, finally, you are on the other side and settled. Great post and photos. Keep at it!

    • “Empty a drawer and it multiplies fivefold” – so funny! It’s refreshing though, paring things down. I know you have found a place that is really inspiring you – if I do that, it will be wonderful. Thank you so much for the words of wisdom….and yes, the afternoon double is essential sanity food. πŸ™‚

  4. I think I know what you are experiencing at this time. It seems like just a few years ago we packed up everything we had and moved half-way across the country. Packing is an emotional undertaking, at least for me. I realized I was sentimental, a trait I didn’t think I possessed. Maybe that comes naturally, a result of living a life. It was sad to leave but at the same time exciting to find something new. I have a feeling you’ll find that excitement too, and I think you may find you’ll be a better person for it.

    • No question that the new place will be exciting – actually, we know it well, and this move is a very positive step – we’ve loved that area for years. The process is challenging though! Your experience is so interesting! I like the way you put it, that certain feelings evolve out of living a life. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the encouragement – want to stop by and help pack? πŸ™‚

  5. This is beautiful! Such a wonderful angular consciousness on the one hand and the larger photos, moving on a different plane of time and space and consciousness, and it all coming together. The move will surely go well, on such a foundation of strength. I’ve moved 15 times. Deep breaths (like these photos) do help.

    • What a gratifying thing to read, I really appreciate it, because I know you have a uniquely deep, as well as broad view of life. I’ve moved a lot too, but I managed to stay in one place a bit longer after my early 30’s, so let’s see, since age 35 or so, wow, only six times. We’ll be in a strongly agricultural region, rather than a bedroom commuting region, which I am really, really looking forward to. And now only about an hour or so from Canada! πŸ˜‰

  6. Dear Lynn, sure, you will get through these days’ chaos. I hope you will be happy in your new place and gain a lot of new inspiration from it, even though the move would’t have been necessary just for inspiration (I see an ocean of it in you), but there might be other reasons.
    Your photos show that chaos cannot harm your essence.
    I wish you all the best.
    Ule

    • You made me smile, what a nice thing to say, Ule – love the idea of an ocean of inspiration. And the photos, that felt good, it really did. I can’t
      concentrate on my “usual” style of photography right now, so I thought, what can I do? And that’s when it came to me – just be with what’s happening here and now. Thanks you for your presence here, it is valued!

  7. Lynn, you will get through to the other side, but I totally get where you are…I moved about three years ago, and it all worked out fine…made new friends, love the area I live in…but it takes time to settle. Oh, and the strong, black coffee too! Keep up with the arty images!

    • It does take time, doesn’t it? We moved here only 6 years ago, but we are much closer to Seattle than we need to be, now that I’m not working. We’re moving to an area that’s more rural, with a strong agricultural tradition, an area we’ve been taking day trips to since we moved out there. So that should be good, but the doubts are always there….thanks for the good words, Sue, i appreciate it!

    • Someone we talked to yesterday said he knew of a family that moved at the same time they got married, had a child and took a new job – they hadn’t been married when the child was conceived. I think they were only missing death as a major stressor, and maybe bankruptcy! Off the charts. Best of luck to you, Paula, you’ll get through, as we all do I guess! πŸ™‚

  8. Sometimes my wife talks to me about moving. But how do you do that after so long? Stress indeed! I moved often when I was younger but now it seems undoable. Yet, as others have said you will make it through. It’s the move that’s the stress but I’ll bet coming out the other side will be an enjoyable adventure. I hope so. It will be an adventure and adventures are always good. The first and last photo convey to me best how I’m sure you feel!

    • We moved several times when I was a child, too, and I moved all the time when I was in my 20’s. Even now, I’ve only been here six and a half years, which means I have nowhere near the settled in feeling you must have. I am so with you in believing that adventures are always good though, and I expect we’ll have plenty. We do know the area and we love it. It’s more rural than where we re now, so that’ll be great. Thanks Howard!

  9. It is always very difficult and traumatic to move…all those memories that bubble to the surface makes it worse. But it can also be a cleansing process. Well written blog.

    • I think you’re right, Dina, and you know what? I have been meaning to go through these things for years. I feel really good that it’s finally happening, but while you’re in the midst of it, it is all so emotional and distracting, and the process becomes SO much more than “packing.” Thank you so much for your words, very wise, and appreciated.

  10. Well-said. I had a moment of living this with you. I wish you well and I hope the transition is as smooth as possible and your next destination is filled with pleasant and wonderfully intriguing things. Take care.

    • Thank you, Sheri! We’re going up to Anacortes, just south of town, a small cottage on a wooded lot. That should be WAY nicer than what Kirkland has become! I’m sure you’ve seen the changes in the last few years too, but I think you are still a bit removed from the worst of it, where you are. I hope so!

      • Yes, I’m glad we ended up just east of North Bend instead of in town or westward. The way the terrain is my little neighborhood should stay much the same. But tons of trees have gone down in the last few months for building projects all over town and the outskirts. There’s a beautiful view of Mt. Si with a field of grazing mules at its feet that we’ll be losing in the next year too. The paved over world is arriving here too. But so far still a peaceful small town.
        I guessed you were headed somewhere near there since I know the area between here and Bellingham very well and you gave mileage from where you were. That’s a pretty area, and I like the placement between Seattle/Bellingham/Vancouver BC. Again, all the best with the move, and I hope it’s a place that soothes your soul.

  11. Oh goodness, how I feel for you. Living in one of my own bits of chaos at the moment I can’t see your pictures because the glacial speed of my Internet connection here (away from real home but in another) makes downloading whole posts impossible. Your strategy feels just right – living the chaos and bobbing along on the current of it so to speak. Feeling it and just acknowledging it. I’ll be thinking of you, now I know what you’re going through, and wishing you the best of everything in this new place and this new part of the journey.

    • Bobbing along with the current – exactly. I know you’re familiar with the concept I was getting at. As I was saying above somewhere in a comment, I just can’t concentrate on going out and taking pictures the way I normally would, so I asked myself what else I could do, and realized I needed to describe what I’m going through. Then I wondered about images and it dawned on me that the more chaotic ones are appropriate (I also realized I don’t have very many like that – there’s a powerful urge towards order). And THEN I decided I should “mess” with them a little more. πŸ™‚ I know you get it! Thank you, and hopefully your own chaos will resolve into something very new, something you couldn’t have imagined.

      • Thank you! And keep finding ways to express and record the process, whatever it may be – I always find that in a strange way this helps more than I ever expect it will. And I hope soon my Internet will permuta me to see your pictures again.

  12. When I read your first paragraph, I thought, oh, chaos, disorder, short tempers, she’s back in NY! But anyway, out of the chaos, you write a piece with real punch!
    The Gods of Disruption will love your offering, as do I.
    I’m home for a few days, and helping to empty my grandmother’s house, just the tiniest bit of tension in the air, as well as talcum powder and potpourri-dust. Chaos sometimes meant a bottomless abyss, and I’ve been wishing for one to dump all these bales of coupons, bins of twist-ties and crackly old rubber bands, and Medicare bulletins. I will be moving myself at the end of the month, good to keep in practice. You will certainly find a place with espresso, and establish good routines, and the world will once again be “spinning in greased grooves” (never sure I liked that quotation, but it’s growing on me). Good luck!

    • Ah, you are such a wonderful writer, you make me sound better than I am. You made me laugh hard with the first line! That is one serious task you’re immersed in, and though I love the talcum powder [part, the twit ties and Medicare bulletins are probably more to the point. I remember dealing with this at my mother’s house – my father had already died, so when my mother died it was time to really get rid of everything, and it was incredibly time-consuming. Is your grandmother going to assisted living? I recently retired from a social work position involving elders and lots of moves that were resisted. It’s so hard. You’re right, you’re keeping in practice for your own marathon….and I never heard THAT expression, weird, but it really works. I think it’s the one I’m going to be looking for. Let me know when you think I’ve found it again! πŸ˜‰

      • Yes, she moved to assisted living/nursing home. She has Parkinson’s & etc. and even with home aides, the move was necessary. It’s a really great place, good food, tons of activities, singing, visiting pets, etc., gardening if you’re up to it. I got that quotation from “Cannery Row” and surprising how often it pops up

  13. I know exactly how you feel, Lynn. Three years ago, we moved from House #1 to House #2, and it was an entire year of these very same feelings. In retrospect, so many of the ‘treasure” I found made it so worthwhile.
    Each of these photographs is just beautiful.
    Hang in there. It has to end at some point!!! πŸ™‚

    • An entire year….it does take time to adjust, doesn’t it? Ahhhh…. It’s true about the treasures, we’ve unearthed some interesting ones today. And more bags for the thrift shop!! Well, thank you for the good words, Lisa.

  14. In this kind of situation I always have to think of one of my favourite poems, “Steps” by Hermann Hesse. Do you know it? http://www.gss.ucsb.edu/projects/hesse/works/stages.html
    It describes this time so well: the fear, of what we leave behind, the joy, of what may come (or vice versa). Than the excitement of the new beginning: what to do, where to put the things, getting to know the place (as far, as you don’t know it yet). Mixed feelings, mixed photographs. Very expressive! I wish you all the best and a good start in your new home !!! and then I am looking forward to your new pictures πŸ™‚

    • Wow, that’s the perfect poem, isn’t it? I’m familiar with Hesse but not that poem, so thank you for the link! Thank you for your generous, warmhearted wishes. πŸ™‚

      • I find this poem is perfect for the times of change (and not only then). A friend of mine gave it to me a long time ago, when I was on the move and I felt so insecure. I found it quite comforting πŸ™‚

  15. This reminds me a bit of the “everything drawer” that everyone likely has in their kitchens, that catch-all place where we leave things until we need them or want to look at them again…a hodgepodge of necessaries. I am all too familiar with moving and its stresses…and hope your time of unrest passes quickly and that your routines return with their comforting familiarity…and that you find “the” place for your coffee fix. πŸ™‚

    • I know that drawer well, called it the same thing and kept it in the same room. I know you’ve done bigger moves, with more people – you must be an expert by now. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, Scott.

  16. Moving is always tedious as well as exciting.Only when you more do you know how much stuff you have collected over the time. I wish you good luck with the packing. And as always you showcase some lovely photos.I see you are going to Anacortes. Quite some spectaculat landscape around there.

    • Yes, you know the area, and I’m really looking forward to exploring. We’re a little south of town, and Deception Pass is not far. And the other direction, east on Rt. 20, we’ve only done that twice so it will be great to be closer to the North Cascades Highway, and all that mountain scenery. And the ferry for the San Juan Islands leaves isn’t far either – maybe we’ll do a walk-on so we don’t have to deal with summer traffic and ferry waits. Thanks for your good wishes, Otto!

  17. Upheaval indeed. Moving all your “stuff”, both physical and mental is not a job for the timid. I haven’t moved for nearly 30 years, I hate to even think of sorting through all the “stuff” I’ve accumulated.

    Anacortes seems like a nice place, I used to go there frequently for diving in the San Juans, and even next month our club will be at Deception Pass for diving/camping. I’ve always enjoyed the trips and the area.

    • We moved only 6 years ago and still, the amount of stuff we do NOT need is just flabbergasting. Or something like that. The new place is south of Anacortes, not far from Deception Pass – such a beautiful place. I can’t wait to explore – so many great places up there. I didn’t know you were a diver – very cool! Would you believe we still have not been to the San Jaun’s? We’re thinking of walking on the ferry this summer to avoid the traffic, then later in the year we’ll go again and take the car. Enjoy your trip next month!

  18. I’m sure the gods will take great pleasure in your offering, just as do I. There seems to be something about upheaval (inner & outer), (and this is not an attempt to romanticise your stress) which is at the same time both very painful but also absolutely necessary for the creative process.
    Looking forward to see how your work will respond to a new place – good luck moving!

    • You made me smile, I really appreciate your take on this period. I think it’s quite sane. I wonder what might change in the photography, since it’s an area place I’ve been to many times and it’s not hugely different from where I live now – not like 6 years ago when I moved here from NYC. πŸ˜‰ But you’re right, there is likely to be an effect, even if it’s subtle, or slow to manifest. Thanks for mentioning that, and for your presence here. πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ I’m glad you like the images, Adrian, thank you! And thanks gain for putting us in touch with your Bellingham friends – that day was very helpful for getting a feel for what it’s like there. I feel more drawn to the island we’ll be moving to (barely separated from the mainland, by a canal) than to Bellingham, and it’s a little closer to Seattle. We looked at another, totally different area too, but oddly, health insurance is hugely expensive there, so it made no sense. There’s a federal piece to our insurance AND a local piece, and I’m glad I checked before we made a decision. So many details! πŸ™‚

      • Its was my pleasure to help you both out, if only a little. But I’m surprised that health insurance varies geographically un the US – what a complicated world we live in! All the best in your new home! A πŸ™‚

  19. If ever there were a collection of photographs that I responded to with feeling first and visual understanding a distant second (if at all), it is this one, Lynn. Combining your photographs with your narrative, you express exactly what it feels like to move. Reading all the comments before mine, I see that your other followers agree. And speaking of your other followers, what a lovely group of people you have drawn together. This is a testament to the power of your blog. I join the others in not only wishing you the best on this move, but also in knowing that you will make it and thrive in the doing. You will navigate these straits and emerge to new beauties.

    • πŸ™‚ You’re the best, Linda! I was just thinking yesterday that maybe, with our cost of living going down, I will fly to Fort Meyers/Tampa next winter when you’re there, and we can make an Everglades run, scare up some ‘gators….
      Thank you for these generous comments, and I’m so glad you thought the narrative & images told the story together. It was a good exercise to do.

  20. We moved across the country twice, but the second time was vastly more difficult than the first. We had accumulated so much more baggage, literally and figuratively. I imagine discovering so many treasures from the past can result in quite a mixed bag of emotions! We’ve committed to living “lighter”, but I love the idea of someone discovering a tattered recipe for fish cakes someday. We wish you wonderful new beginnings, Lynn!

    • Across the country twice – wow, those are much harder moves, I think. So many logistical issues that we don’t have to think about with this move. Joe is up there right now, delivering a car-load of boxes, and we can do that as many times as we want (or not!), until the movers come. No worries about moving cars either, or waiting for our stuff to arrive, groan. You’re exactly right, the effects of stuff from the past are very mixed, and it slows you down. I am constantly torn between living lighter and preserving some things – especially family things – that otherwise would be lost forever. Thank you for your good wishes! And guess what – our cost of living in should be substantially less, and what does that mean? More trips to NY! Yes! And other places. πŸ˜‰

    • That’s wonderful, that you feel that way about the whole post, I really appreciate your telling me. This move is nothing, of course to the move(s) you have made, and I think it will be fine. Thank you!

  21. Beautifully written post, Lynn! Moving can be very stressful, at least if you have a lot of things (i.e. memories).. The part where you found the cat toys really moved me, I don’t save anything but I can imagine how I would feel if I found any of my Odd’s old toys.. I don’t have any good advice to offer except try to take it easy. It really will be fine! Wishing you a happy start in your new home πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ Sorry to bring it back, Louis, but it sounds like you’re safely ensconced now. πŸ™‚ I’m glad. The gardens just keep getting better and better, right?

  22. First I must say that I love the photos, especially the first and fourth. I know that chaos, and the feeling of overwhelm, and trepidation about the future from when we sold/gave away everything to live a nomadic life. I hadn’t saved any of my mother’s or grandmother’s things so I can’t even imagine how much harder it must be for you. Good luck, and good strength.
    Alison

  23. Some folks enjoy the excitement, and starting afresh so much that the difficulty of moving is taken for granted. I know well what you’re writing about. I moved five years ago, and I’m just beginning now to feel at home. The very things you wrote about were the most painful or me… finding pictures or letters written long ago, put away for later, but still painful as I read the words… tearing at my heart. Notes and little presents from friends and loved ones who are no longer. Reminders of past mistakes. Those were the worst. And then in the new place, putting something down on a shelf or a table… on the most obvious place because I didn’t want to lose track of that pen or a certain personal object that had been with me all my life…. and then searching for it because I had no idea where it was. I lost things over and over, and my life became frustrating and chaotic. And then watched my cat go through very similar suffering. Yes it passes. But I didn’t find that I could ever go back to where I’d been… that sense of security and balance connected to the old place. Now I see such a major move as moving from one incarnation to another. We continue to live, but it’s not really the same life that we lived before. My best wishes to you Lynn for an easy transfer.

    • You have such a wonderful way with words, I like hearing your description of that process of discovering things – the surprise, the joy, the pain. And losing things in the new place – I know that’s going to happen, and I hate it! But I think knowing it’s going to happen helps. πŸ™‚
      For us, the big move was 6 years ago, when we moved here from NYC. That was a huge change, geographically and culturally, and like you say, a new incarnation. This one is within a similar realm, and I think going back and forth between the new place and the Seattle area will be OK, but I expect it will bring up a variety of feelings, too. Food for thought and growth.
      Overall, we’re going to a quieter, less suburban existence and I welcome that. It’s good to hear about your experiences, Shimon, and thank you very much for your good wishes!

  24. Images that acutely illustrate the chaos of life. It’s two and a half years since we moved after over thirty years in the same house. It was a colossal but necessary upheaval, we realised that if we didn’t get it done, we would reach a point when we just hadn’t the strength to get it done. it’s a time for memories and discoveries and painful decisions and questioning: ‘are we doing the right thing?’ A bold step into a new chapter of life. We now look back and think: why did it take us so long to decide to move. I do hope it goes well for you, Lynn

    • That sounds like a really difficult move! I’m glad it worked out well for you. Our bold step was 6 years ago, when we moved here from NYC – that was a really radical change. This one’s in the same overall geographical region, and to an area we know pretty well. Thanks so much for your good wishes, I appreciate it!

  25. Sorry Lynn but I had to laugh. Coincidentally enough, I’ve just finished 3 weeks of packing and 1 week of unpacking as I settle into a new home in Springfield MA. Given that I’m carting around three different careers, it’s embarrassing how much stuff I have. Just hope I don’t have to move for awhile but if I do, a lot has to go.

    I admire your ability to put out a post and reflect on the moving experience in the midst of such disarray. For me, it was a non-stop focus on filling cartons, taping, labeling each carton, keeping boxes from taking over entire rooms, and cleaning. But it does feel good to be in a new home where everything manages to fit — as long as one’s careful to open closets carefully lest one be buried in an avalanche of cartons containing old files, slides, prints, tear sheets, product stock, and miscellaneous memorabilia I hardly ever need to see anymore.

    Maybe your beautiful images express the tumult and chaos I experienced but I’m afraid I couldn’t get past the overwhelming beige-ness (as in corrugated) that took over my life the last month! Very monochromatic and full of 90 degree angles and flat surfaces. That was my external visual reality at any rate that crowded out any awareness of internal states πŸ™‚

    • You’re here! I was beginning to worry a little. Wow, no wonder! Springfield, huh? My son went to school north of there for a few years (NW of Northampton, near Cummington). Once when he was sick we went to a hospital there…I can’t say I remember it though.
      Yes, embarrassing, right? I have such powerful urges to lighten the load, but then I look at an individual object, and…it’s hard. But we’ve certainly taken huge amounts away to the thrift & book stores this time, so we’re trying. Remember I have help, which maybe you don’t have as much of, so I can sneak breaks in here and there. The blog keeps me sane, too. And we have the luxury of time; paying for two places for over a month seems worth it right now.
      Those boxes may haunt you….maybe we’ll see them in one form or another, in the coming months. Congrats on getting the job done, and I hope Mass. treats you well!

  26. Your images convey beautifully the feelings you are expressing in your narrative, Lynn. Ooh, I feel your pain–change is difficult. Good luck with your new chapter and here’s to art therapy! πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ es, art therapy is a much maligned and misunderstood discipline, and it can be an amazing vehicle for getting to things, in so many different circumstances. Thank you Jane!

  27. An interesting stream of thoughts and images. Where are you moving? Moving is a great opportunity to clear out the old that weighs us down and start anew. We are so happy that we have moved. By doing so we’ve added many adventures and great experiences to our lives. I do hope the same will be true for you!

    • Thank you, Denise. We’re not moving that far – we’re going north, to an island about half-way between Seattle and Vancouver, a quieter place. Seattle is a huge boom town right now, and I’m tired of it. We moved here from NYC six years ago, so a big move is familiar, but it’s always difficult and time-consuming. I do keep boxes of things from my mother and grandparents, and hope they will continue to be passed on – it’s hisptory that becomes more valuable as time passes. And it needs to be organized, which I never had time to do, so now the lack of organization becomes obvious as I pack it up. There will be even more photo opportunities where we’re going – Fidlago Island. I can’t wait!

  28. All the best in your new home, Lynn. When chaos is around, I always (try to..) switch to ‘step by step’-thinking; first things first and the rest is switched off… Helps sometimes.. πŸ™‚

    • Yes Harrie, there’s no way I’m going to look at all that needs to be done. Just one step at a time. I like the way you describe it. We’re lucky that we’re able to take it slowly. Thank you for the good wishes!

  29. I do hope it is all working out well for you. I have been in that situation twice in the last couple of years and it has been an extremely painful experience. A year on from the most recent move and I’m beginning to feel a little more settled. All the best.

    • Thank you, your honesty is appreciated. πŸ™‚ It’s going OK, mainly because we bought ourselves time. We’re paying for two places for a month and a half, which allows us to take time packing and to bring things up to the new place a few times a week – it’s les than a 1 1/2 hr drive. Dealing with stuff from the past is the hard part, but I can give myself a day off here and there. I’m glad you’re feeling more settled – you know, maybe it takes a full round of the seasons to do that. I like that idea.

  30. Ohh.. I can completely relate myself with this post. I was in Nepal and then in Indian Himalayas for more than a month. I just came back a few weeks before. I had no intentions to be back soon, but my parents had insisted to be back as soon as possible because we were about to change our home. From my conscious memory, this is my 6th home. It was a little difficult to shift. In last home we stayed for 14 years, so many memories. Now we are almost settled here. But I am not completely comfortable with surroundings yet. But I am happy I have more personal space now. I hope I will come with more blog posts soon.

    • I’m glad you have more space, that can be really nice, it can help the mind expand, and relax, I think. I don’t know how old you are, but I have a feeling you’re still pretty young, and six homes is a lot. But there are opportunities, too, right? I look forward to your next post!

  31. I can’t imagine the freedom of being able to just pack up and move to a chosen spot — or to be able to do so without worries about work and money. To find an even more congenial spot, to have the pleasures of a more rural life, and to be free to get back into a creative routine that suits you? It sounds like heaven.

    If you can believe it, I’ve always enjoyed moving, and there was a time when I never was in a place for more than five years. During one decade, I moved… six times! Now, I’m fairly sure I’ll never move again, so I have to work hard to keep my envy under control. I grow restless — not because I don’t enjoy where I am, but only because certain options have closed. But it will be great fun to follow you, and to see what new delights your new place in the world offers to you.

    • I am far, far from worrying about money. It took quite an effort to find something we can afford, and we can only hope it won’t go up and up and up, forcing us out. That being said, we were lucky an affordable little cottage came onto the market just when we were looking, and we persisted through the ins and outs of a complicated process until a lease could be signed, whew!
      You know, I liked moving when I was younger, and I did it a lot. I certainly like the excitement of going somewhere new, it’s just all the work that precedes getting there! πŸ˜‰ We were really excited when we moved out here from NYC – now that was major change. Now we get to move to a quieter corner of the Pacific northwest. No doubt I’ll be posting about it, but I think it will take me a while to get used to photographing the environment. Even though it’s part of the same region and only 1 1/2 hrs north, the light is very different. Lots more water there, fewer really tall, dark trees. Challenges are good. πŸ™‚

  32. I love this part of the photographic process of “played with them until they seemed to reflect how I feel”. It is indeed therapeutic. It’s like listening to what your inner voice is saying to you while also quieting it.

    “too many books”? You’re funny.

  33. I should play with my photos more liberally, until they reflect how I feel, more often. It’s good practice. Yes, you’re listening, and that’s why the voice can rest. πŸ™‚

    Well, too many books is possible if they aren’t all loved, so the unloved tomes go to the used bookstore, to find more agreeable homes. πŸ™‚ Now, more room for more lovebooks. And booklove.


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