I moved recently.
It wasn’t a particularly ‘big’ move: it wasn’t across the country and I don’t have a ton of things. I haven’t lost contact with friends or family as a result. I didn’t lose or break much of anything during the process.
None of that matters.
Moving isn’t fun for me. Instead, it’s a long, drawn-out process of nail pulling to get each item in my life reviewed, properly labelled and sequestered for the move, then packed into boxes and carted away. The process always reminds me of two of my life’s truisms: you can indeed have too much “stuff”, and no matter how much I give away, freecycle, or recycle, I ever feel like I could pare “stuff” down further.
Two years and several months ago, I moved from a two bedroom apartment to a studio in the same building. Several friends helped me moved the two floors down in my building to my new studio, and the pile in the space was a mite intimidating. So very much “stuff”, so very little space.
I downsized, ridding myself of many things I wasn’t using consistently, paring away from the space with a finality and discipline that I still maintain and that I regret only very rarely. Of course, I’ve kept many valuable things full of memories: blankets that were made for me, clothing ditto, framed photos, a few very display items. After two years of downsizing through varied means, the space still felt full, but not as cramped as that first day. Removing from your life the items you don’t use or truly cherish can be a very good thing.
This new space is large and lovely. It’s uncrowded. Unrushed. Open, friendly and inviting, despite half-unpacked boxes of books and belongings in two of the rooms.
I’ve no plans to fill the space with furnishings, or shelves. It will remain open, friendly, and inviting. Packing over the last few weeks, a great many things were packed off to friends, family or freecycled, included shelving units and other furnishings, clothing, kitchenware, and books. I plan to put artworks and photography on the walls – this space has four large walls that currently have nothing on them. No shelves, no switches or lights, no cabinets against.
I’m looking forward to filling them with just the right pieces.
Life continues as you’re preoccupied with preparing, packing, and piling belongings into a moving van: there are appointments to keep, and friends to meet with, and errands to run. As you pack it all up, you attend plays, walk on the beach, and make time for the things that feed you. I’ve taken a number of afternoons these last weeks and simply gone out with my camera. Searching for scenes that calm and revitalize my energies, building for the next day, the next effort. The processing, preparing and printing comes later: the feeding is first, and foremost. Some of those images will be posted in the coming days, now that most is unpacked and ready to roll.
That time taken helps to ensure I’ve the energy to keep up with what’s needed and that I’m able to keep track of the varied and many aspects of modern life. It’s part of the balance.
Moving too, is part of the balance sometimes. Big or small. Across town or cross-country doesn’t matter, it can be the right move at the right time.