Monday, July 1, 2013

So, You Keep Moving

photo credit
It's official. My inconsistent postings the past few weeks haven't been negligence, but rather energy refocused. A single spotlight concentrated in one place even as every other corner of my world went dark for a while. The deck and master bedroom painted. The front porch resurfaced. Windows and carpets cleaned. Furniture shined. New hardware on every door knob, hinge and handle. Boxes of winter clothes and non-essentials packed, and clutter and driftwood relegated to garage sales and goodwill. I can see the back of my closet. I can see what my kitchen will look like when we no longer live here. We're paring down. Our life here, our home and the things inside it, are being whittled away and in a few weeks my house will belong to someone else and I'll be speeding across Nebraska with my world packed tightly into boxes and suitcases.

The Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart) said the following: I believe in the complexity of the human story and that there's no way you can tell that story in one way and say, 'This is it.' Always there will be someone who can tell it differently depending on where they are standing; the same person telling the story will tell it differently. I think of that masquerade in Igbo festivals that dances in the public arena. The Igbo people say, 'If you want to see it well, you must not stand in one place. The Masquerade is moving through this big arena. Dancing. If you're rooted to a spot, you miss a lot of the grace. So you keep moving, and this is the way I think the world's stories should be told-from many different perspectives (As quoted in The Paris Review).

When I tell people we're moving to Chicago they seem impressed, more or less. But when I say, We're moving to Illinois the reaction is more hesitant. Confused, even. Is it possible the glamorous metropolis of Chicago is situated in the measly state of Illinois? Do people voluntarily move to Illinois?

It's not time for me to write about what I'm leaving behind yet. I'm still thinking on that one, processing and examining the stamp Colorado has left on my family these past six years. So, what is left is for us to look ahead. This is one of my secret powers, if you must know. Throughout my childhood my parents nurtured in me the gift of curiosity and deep down that flame burns brightly. What's it like to tell people you live in Chicago. What do they mean by humid winters? Which deep dish pizza is best? What does it feel like to live there? Will we run away to Michigan or Wisconsin for long weekends? To me it sounds as exotic as Maine, Mississippi or Montego Bay.

So we're going to keep moving. Our hearts are heavy with packing and goodbyes, and I can't express how sad I feel to sign my house, my life, my friends and my sisters here in Colorado over to someone else's care. But at the same time we're craning our necks, curious to find out what is around the corner. After all, how can I tell my stories from many different perspectives if I stay rooted to one spot?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so out of the loop! You are moving!! Good luck with everything and IL is super lucky to have such a wonderful family moving there. ;) So sad for us to be losing you.

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