Monday, August 20, 2012

Vacation in a Foreign City

Here in the treetops
of an upstairs apartment,
it is early morning.
I am listening to the traffic sounds 
and the day’s beginning
in this foreign city.
I pretend that it is a vacation,
but in truth it is the turned page
of our new life.

What I have:
A husband,
A cup of cinnamon tea,
A wall of Bougainvillea,
Lemons by the back fence,
Summer morning overcast,
Boxes calling to be unpacked.

This day and my life
(what of it remains to me)
spreads out before me.
Certain things beg to be done –
Begged by the voice in my head
that insists on security.
Mostly, I will indulge her.
I have had enough
of uncertainty and upheaval.

Each step brings me closer
to a particular relief,
a settling.
May it be a settling down
and not a settling for.
May this foreign city
be hospitable.
May it become home.

Friday, August 17, 2012


This is a big one.  Yesterday I did have a meltdown (but only one) and I told Barry it felt like we were making a huge mistake.  Fortunately, that passed.  But I've been alone for 24 hours, getting the apartment together.  I took a break.  this is what came.

I am.
I can tell myself
how foolish it is
to succumb.
I can get busy.
I can rest.
Nothing changes
the feeling.
Time will.
Time will change it.
I know this.
It doesn’t help me now, though.

I tell myself that
life is itself transition.
It is.
Does that help?

I tell myself that
in this moment
I am actually fine.
I am.
Does that matter?

What will help
is connecting with people.
My husband.  My children.  My friends.
They are not here now.
They will be here soon, I know.
That doesn’t help me now either.

All I can do is take three conscious breaths,
as Pema Chodron says.
Lean into the feeling,
see where that takes me.
Here goes.  I will stop typing now.

Okay, I settled a bit.
It’s a curious feeling,
a tightness in my chest.
Please pass soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Limbo Be Gone!

No more Limbo.  That’s over and done!  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written here, and so much has changed.  My foot has healed well (at least I think so – I visit the doc tomorrow and fully expect the boot will go away).  We lowered the price of the house a few weeks ago and it sold quickly, to folks who had been eyeing the place for quite a while.  When they offered no contingencies and a 3-week close, we accepted, even though their $ offer was less than what we were asking.  Oh, well.  That's all so arbitrary anyway.

Suddenly, we were kicked into high gear.  There are so many things to do to prepare for a move. (No news to anyone, that.)  For us, that included finding a temporary place to move to.  Fortunately, our realtor scored us a little apartment (and I mean little) in a great location in Berkeley.  We’ll be living like we did in our twenties – no yard, no dishwasher, no washer and dryer, a tough parking situation.  In other words, urban.   Barry suggested we look at it as a vacation in a foreign city.  That works for me.

It feels strange to be in so unsettled a position at this stage of life.  We’ll need to find new everything – doctors, places to shop, mechanic, pool, pharmacy, you name it – all the things you take for granted when you live somewhere for a long time.  I don't know why, but I feel old having to do all of this.  It’s exciting and sometimes overwhelming.  I’m trying to track every place that needs an address change and all the services that need to be stopped or moved – boy, I’d forgotten how much there is to deal with.  We’re moving day after tomorrow, then returning here for a final salon on Saturday night (come on by).  Sunday we clean, and then it’s goodbye to Bay Rd. after 28 years.  (Well, I did have a 4-year break from living here.  I said goodbye to the house back then and never thought I’d return. But leaving the house wasn’t the biggest part of that situation.  Still, I wonder if that history will make this leave-taking any easier.  I’m guessing I’m going to have a pretty big cry when we head out for the last time.)

Am I finished hanging out with Hecate?  I don’t think so.  We’ve moved on from one crossroads, but I think we’re headed right for another.  We’re looking for a place to live that will include Alex, Emily and Ruby: a duplex, or split house.  It’s not the easiest thing to find, and especially in our price range and in a neighborhood we will like.  I hope the universe treats us well in this!

I am very grateful that this all happened well in advance of Max's and Michaela's wedding in September.  

So …. We’re no longer in Limbo, but we’re definitely in transition.  I’m a fear-based type, a six on the Enneagram, and this upheaval throws me right into my core patterns.  Some days (and some hours) I’m pretty damned anxious.  But at other times I’m fine – even eager.  I was pretty stirred up when I started this post, but just the act of writing has helped.  My “writing retreat” may be ending, but I suspect I’ll keep up the blog.  I hope Hecate’s listening and willing to guide me on.  I need her.