Saturday, May 6, 2017

Renouncing attachment, thing by thing

"I'm a zephyr on the inside
And it's a hard ride when you feel your heart tied down
Hide-and-earth bound, but there's no tether
On a zephyr."

Selling glass is surprisingly addictive.

It could be the unconditional validation. Everything sells. Even things that don't sell, sell. Twice now I've posted "Sold to No-one" and within moments someone has messaged me and taken it off my hands.

It's a bit more complicated than selling beads, especially estimating the shipping and wrapping the glass securely. I've gotten pretty good at eyeballing what will mail for $10, what will need to go in a flat-rate box, what is too much for a flat-rate, etc.

My arms are getting a workout, bubble-wrapping and shrink-wrapping bundles of glass, taping up boxes and hauling them to the post office.

All-in-all, it's satisfying. The more I sell and ship out, the less I need to worry about packing. I've already started to sort out what I'm keeping and done some preliminary boxing, trying to come up with a system that protects the glass while not overloading the boxes.

I've stopped donating clothing and linens because I am planning to use them as box filler and donate them on the other side.

Every day I wash and rebundle a few lbs. of glass. The more I can do in May, the less I'll have to sweat through in June and July. I've gotten most of the low-hanging fruit at this point. It will get harder as I work my way up the shelving unit and get into more of the glass that I'm keeping.

Yet, like my collectibles. the more glass I let go of, the easier it gets to let go of more.

I'd like to say I'm feeling less anxiety about the move, but that would be a lie. I'm talking about the physical move now, not the more existential issue of living in North Carolina. I keep the anxiety about living there at bay with the anxiety about getting there.

I keep wondering if we are past the point of no return.

It's easy to rationalize that my glass needed to be cleaned up and thinned out anyway, so all this work is worthwhile independent of the move. The move is just a good motivator. I've known for a long time that I needed to do this, but I lacked motivation.

We got some new house pictures. Not much to say about these. Interesting perspective on the elevation. At least, I hope the house isn't actually listing.

Left windows are facades. Center windows are home office down and bonus room up.
Right windows are study down and guest bedroom up.

Great room with view of woods through scaffolding.

I imagine it will all seem more real after our upcoming trip. We'l be spending five days there, meeting with the builder, designer and landscaper.

I've been pulling out all sorts of oddments as I try to get a handle on drawer contents. Letters from an old (brief) flame. Scores on standardized tests taken 40 years ago. My college commencement program. My extremely erratic college transcript. Greeting cards from my kids and Neil. Yellowed newspaper clippings. College newspaper illustrations by my college boyfriend. Rejection slips from publications (and a couple of acceptance letters). Papers I wrote, going as far back as seventh grade.

If you don't want to squirm, don't re-read a paper you wrote when you were 12. In face, don't re-read a paper you wrote when you were 20.

Helpless, I asked Neil what to do with this stuff. He said, don't ask me. Then he said, I'd keep it. Then he said, we're not downsizing with this move, it's the next move where we'll be forced to make the hard decisions because it will be a smaller place.

I said, I'm not moving again. Then I put 90 percent of my old paperwork in the recycling bin.

If I didn't remember that I still had it, then I probably won't miss it. And I'm highly skeptical that my kids will have any interest in reading my analysis of Faukner's The Bear or my comparison of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises to Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsy, cleverly titled, The Sun Also Rises in West Egg.

Every closet, every drawer, every cabinet presents like challenges. I'm trying to be ruthless. I'm trying not to be sentimental. We're still going to be taking a shedload of stuff, impractical stuff, because it's simpler to stick it in a box than to figure out what else to do with it.

I hope there is a lesson here in this madness. I hope I will stop and think a tick longer before I buy another trinket, another decorative box, another basket, another statuette, another damn purse. I found 3 purses with the tags still on them that I'd long forgotten about in a box that I probably packed when I moved 10 years ago. They are nice enough purses but I have a purse I like now and another half dozen purses queued up for when I tire of this one.

What was I thinking? What am I ever thinking? Do I even think?

I may sell half my glass stash and that may keep me busy for the next few months, but I have no energy for selling purses. Or shoes, Or watches. Just some of the things I've compulsively collected over time. Does anyone still wear watches, now that we have smart phones always at hand?

Maybe Neil is right. Maybe I'll save some of these hard decisions. Maybe there will be a great consignment shop when and where we land. Maybe vintage purses with tags will fetch big money one day when my heirs go through my affairs.

Or maybe as the move draws closer and the gun descends, I will develop a Zen attitude and renounce attachment - at least to the things that are simply that. Things.

I don't know nothing, nothing today
Whether to leave or to stay
'Cause underneath sorrow, underneath fear
There's nothing that's keeping me here

'Cause I'm a zephyr on the inside
And it's a hard ride when you feel yourself tied down
Hide-and-earth bound, but there's no tether
On a zephyr

I tried to be constant just like a star
I tried to be steady and yar
But the storms keep breaking over my head
I'm aching for blue skies instead

'Cause I'm a zephyr on the inside
And it's a hard ride when you feel your heart tied down
Hide-and-earth bound. but there's no tether
I'm a zephyr

All of the wings I've ridden back home to you
All the things I've given I wanted to
All that you see has always belonged to you
Except for the wind

Forever and after, that's if we're charmed
You've got to hold on with more than these arms
Because love's all there is and time is just sand
And I might just slip through your hands

'Cause I'm a zephyr on the inside
And it's a hard ride when you feel your life tied down
Hide-and-earth bound, but there's no tether
On a zephyr.

(Mary Chapin Carpenter)

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