The sky is a sorbet of bright white clouds and silky grey with strips of unripened blueberry through the tall, secret-telling windows of our new apartment. I hear only the whirr of the washer and dryer, every so often interrupted by the shriek of a seagull. I’ve spent the past few hours sorting through the boxes stacked high against the cool concrete walls. Piling up dust blanketed books and milk glass to haul to Goodwill, sifting through ancient Sharpie covered CDs scattered among ink filled day planners, and tossing stack upon stack of irrelevant business cards. While I’ve moved seventeen times in the past ten years, I somehow manage to hold on to some impressive memorabilia.
As I unpacked this time, I absolutely had to get rid of some of the things that I had been holding onto for memory’s sake. These bouts of organization create unexpected opportunities to explore history, inciting flashbacks and a flurry of nostalgia. Unfolding a love letter held in the back of a planner. Paging through an old notebook and reading of suffering and questioning and doubt. Opening a Valentine’s Day or birthday card and recalling the features of the person who wrote them. Burying my face in the fur of a childhood stuffed animal or exploring the edge of a tiny seashell, once held between the fingers of my father.
Moving is like peering into a living scrapbook. Reviewing all of the things worth holding onto, laid out around me from various chapters of my past. It’s a bit sorrowful in a way- thinking of the amount of time that has passed and the people that have gone with them. Counting back to the years when I was housed by my parents. Careening through my thought bank, dodging some moments and enveloping myself in others. It’s also a bit magical, all of these triggers that unleash thoughts and emotions to an almost physical reaction.
I wonder what artifacts I’ll take away from this new home. What photos will eventually be framed and hung in dwellings to come. Which love letters will be worth saving in the back of a planner. Whether or not I’ll collect any tchotchkes that will make their way from their land of origin to my suitcase to a shelf in the living room. Who will come with me to the next place I call home.
This next phase of life is welcomed with a deep sigh of warmth, a nuzzle into the neck, a long sip of Malbec. The habitual moments, the everyday decisions, the magnificent routine: it just couldn’t be any more exciting.