Captain’s log, day 1 supplemental
The day was hijacked by a knee injury. My youngest daughter, a high-school senior and athlete, got hurt on the court right after I got done tutoring. So she and I spent the following 6 hours or so talking to doctors and getting x-rays.
So there’s that.
Captain’s log, day 2
One would think that one would spend this moment detached from the world after being so attached to it all damn day, but this world here is quiet and invisible and doesn’t cut me off in traffic.
I’m lying on the couch, waiting for my second wind and thinking of the things I need to do next and the order I need to do them in, and I see over there, not too far over there because this is a very small house, a decorative object that holds blankets. Almost all of the blankets are under my head, so what’s left on the blanket holder are two items. One is a blanket that is falling apart from wear. It was a gift during a magical time of my life. I’ve had a lot of magical times, but this time is wrapped in a pretty blanket. And though I hate the thought of getting rid of the blanket, I see no need to keep it. On the rung above it hangs something I made about 15 years ago. It’s not a blanket but a large square comprised of different shapes of different materials. It’s geometric and pretty and is made from scraps of the materials that I used to decorate the first home I owned. The back of it has loops sewn in so that a rod can be threaded through to make the thing easy to hang. I used to hang it, but I don’t anymore and I’m thinking it might be time to let go of that thing, too.
I have a box that contains odd things, like a rock and a shell and a pair of convenience-store plastic earrings. Each thing in the box represents some part of my life that I feel compelled to hold onto. Nothing about my past or about me would change if I didn’t have those objects, so I don’t understand my need to hold onto them. I’ve always been sentimental, but the older I get, the less attached I become to objects. The older I get, the more time there is behind me compared to what’s ahead of me. The past isn’t so important anymore. Not even the future is, really. I don’t have time to dabble in what-ifs. Though I do dabble. And I don’t have time to dwell on the past, though I do that too. The present is a luxury I don’t allow myself to enjoy often. And I don’t know why.
So do I toss the blanket? The earrings? The rock? None of it is of use to me. All of it takes up space, and none of it adds to or takes away from my emotional well-being except that I fear being sad for having let go, which is enough to make me hold on. But then, as silly as it sounds, a blanket and a box of trinkets are physical links to a few bits and pieces of a life well spent, and I like how tangible that makes my moments after those moments have passed.
This is the conundrum I find myself in. Do I carpe diem to the very end or keep a hold on the past for future reflection? I’m a uni-tasker and compartmentalizer, obsessively so on both accounts, so you see these are rhetorical questions that are the film floating at the surface of me. I can’t be sentimental to the past and live in the present while anticipating the future. Not all at once. And this move is forcing me to.
No wonder all the anxiety. My moves in the past were all so fast and furious that I didn’t have time to ponder such things. This is new to me. And I don’t like it.
Captain’s log, day 4
Day 3 was busy.
Last week did not go as planned, which is why the old house is still half full of nonessentials and why I am still in the old house, though I, myself, am not a nonessential. Everyone else is settling into the new house, so I am getting all the dirty work done—all the sifting and washing and throwing away of things—without having to practice cooperation. I haven’t moved the cats yet, so they keep me company, and I don’t want them to be alone in a strange and scary new house when no one is there, so I am keeping them company. Everyone else has work or other obligations. And tomorrow the little girl and I go see the orthopedist.
But right now I want to do nothing.
I can’t remember what made me think of it, something about perfect little houses in cartoon neighborhoods maybe. A vague memory surfaced of a scene from the movie Little Shop of Horrors. This was the first video that popped up, and when I watched it I remembered what a crush I had on Rick Moranis after the movie came out. The song has now been stuck in my head for 3 days. So here, you take it, eh?
I have things to do.