Monday, March 31, 2008

Things That Seemed So "Urgente" at the Time

One of the best things about moving, or change in general (in my ever-so-humble opinion), is that it gives one perspective on what's really "urgent" in life. As you weed through your stuff (and weed, and weed, and weed), you realize that so much of what seemed important once upon a time really wasn't. Or isn't anymore. Like this postcard, stamped in Spain back when there were still pesetas (1997?) - who was I planning to send it to? What was so "urgente" about it? How many things right now seem urgent to me but really aren't? And what energy am I wasting worrying about them?

These are the questions one asks as one is confronted with the detritus (love that word!) of several years' worth of life in one place. A day of reckoning, indeed.

Random Paris Moments (How I Will Miss These!)

Mannekins in the window. A man singing "Rock Around the Clock" on the metro, while Russian tourists dance and kiss.
A folk singer in a laundromat in the Marais. These are only a handful of the infinite, jewel-like moments that Paris has to offer, the admission price being nothing but feet to walk with and eyes to look.

Lovebirds and Their Nest on Valentine's Day

Spring Shadows and Reflections

Lost Gloves in Paris (February)

Enormous Changes (not quite at the last minute)

Gee whiz, golly willikers, it's the end of March already!!! And there is so much to tell - I feel a major surge of blogging about to happen, a backlog of blogs, or "backblog" if you will - so bear with me.

In a nutshell, we have sold and moved out of our apartment, shipped, sold, given or thrown away most of our belongings (although there are still boxes and bags yet to be dealt with - oh, the unbearable heaviness of moving!), and have basically been in the process of dismantling the "life we knew" in Paris. Never ones to lose a chance to procrastinate, we have taken our time about it, kind of like slowly working a tooth loose, instead of just tying it 'round a string and slamming the door shut (sorry, but that's the only metaphor I can come up with right now!).

Part of this "slow exit strategy" has meant staying in Paris (or nearby), and schlepping ourselves and our slowly-dwindling (but not slowly enough) pile of possessions to and fro, trying not to wear out our welcome as friends and neighbors generously take us in for a night or two (or three or four, or even ten...).

Our biggest "task" of late has been making travel plans, figuring this is the moment to go forth and see the world, before we settle into domestic bliss and bloat once more. Meanwhile we have talked and talked and talked about what will be the next place to live, without knowing exactly where (nor how) that will be.

In sum, we are officially in limbo. Which is not such a bad place to be, as long as there is good company and a hot cup of tea available from time to time.

Stay tuned.

Moments in "the Move"

1) Last vegetable lasagne before the colander, pans, knives, and almost everything else were given away.
2) The only kitchen stuff we kept, the criterion being beauty, not practicality (natch!).
3) Ashes in the grate from old files and papers burned (an extremely satisfying procedure).
4) The Empty Space - waiting to be filled again by someone else.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Whose Stuff Is It Anyway?

One of the common refrains of the last week (other than "Are we ordering sushi or pizza tonight?") has been: "Where on earth did we GET all this stuff??" And the adjunct phrase, "Why on earth have we felt compelled to KEEP it??"

Why, indeed. You would think that years of moving, traveling, and reading New Age clutter-clearing manuals would have affected some of my choices regarding the accumulation of material possessions. You would think that living on a six-floor walk-up and knowing that I would likely be moving someday (and likely sooner rather than later), would have been a factor too. Not to mention my professed love of all things sparse, clean, and Japanese-y -- polished wood floors and bare furnishings and all that. But as usual, the reality is a bit far from the ideal. Even after wrapping up 5 meters cubed for shipping (some of which is shown here), selling furniture/appliances/books/etc., throwing out several large trash bags' worth, and giving as much as I could to friends without turning them into enemies - we still have so much left over!

It's truly staggering how much crap two people can collect in just a few years, even living in small apartments in Paris without closets or garages or basements (well actually we do have a "cave" - a French basement - but it gives me serious Catacomb-Phantom-of-the-Opera willies, and I've never gone down there, much less stored stuff in it.)

I suppose I just have to sigh and accept the fact that I'm more moss-gatherer than rolling stone, at least most of the time.

(Written while combing through piles and piles of papers and notebooks, really important essential stuff - like old yoga class schedules and real estate magazines from 2002...)