Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Packing Up

Tonight, I started packing for our impending change of residence. A change which is going to be difficult if we don't find a new house pretty soon, but that is a freak-out of a different color. All practical planning aside, I started packing because I don't want this to turn into a move where shit gets shoved into partially planned boxes, occasionally but not completely labelled, and thrown on a truck because I waited until the last week to pack up all my shit.

The last major life-change move I made, I culled out a good bit of stuff and was pretty careful, but I still wasn't 100% packed when the truck showed up. That's my goal this time, we're hiring movers for the heavy lifting, but I want to be monitoring their progress, not hastily packing my last dregs of shit out of drawers. Rather, all that random crap that carries from house to house gets culled out leaving me with the useful things.

It's a lightening process for me, but it's also a walk down memory lane. Pure, self-absorbed, unabashed melancholy. Tcshotskes aren't my thing, I fail at dusting. My personal space is dotted with little piles, throw-back to my pagan ritual habits maybe? I was making little 'altars' well before that. Small items, bits of past experiences: my bottle of playa from my first Burning Man trip, a player from a foosball table that my partner, Robert, gave me ages ago, the melted glass from the neon effigy year at Alchemy, medallions from the pagan festival I ran 10 years ago. Keepsakes, memory triggers. I don't often dust them, often it will have been months between picking them up and making those memory connections. I get a little sad, smile, remember things I haven't triggered to in years and it makes me happy and sad and sated in a way nothing else does.

I listen to music that I rarely make the effort to remember and seek out, but my memory triggers come with a sound track. One happy memory makes me hum a tune and it's off to rdio to search for some song I have forgotten I know all the words to. Tonight was rapid fire between songs as I inevitably remember my melancholy is for a single song, maybe a whole album, but rarely a collection. "Mary Mac" by Carbon Leaf  and then "Killing and Arab" * by The Cure to a country ballad that I refuse to admit on the internet that I know all the words to. It's a happy way to compete a task that otherwise I would rather not do.

If I had to point out my feelings on a chart my dismembered teddy bear head would be in the "melancholy" pocket more often than not these last couple of months. Lots of massive change, culminating in this move. Going through old photos and keepsakes, accompanied by familiar packing music and remembering where I was during those moves and makes me feel whole.

My birthday was yesterday, 34, and every year I act like it doesn't phase me, but it's interesting how many moves or planning-to-move coincide with my passing a solar revolution.

First box I packed, wishing I could have been listening to The Cure on vinyl. 

* Editors Note: It saddens me to say that I hestiated a moment before typing "Killing an arab" into my favorite search engine. The lingering PC part of me momentarily feared what the results would be, the stoner conspiracy theorist in me momentarily feared that it would put me on some list. A fine example of when you know it's time to go to bed. 


  1. Reading this made me happy...and it also inspired me to organize my loft so I can look at trinkets. Thanks for the nudge. I hope your move is fantastic!

    1. Thanks! And, you are welcome. Thanks for reading.

  2. I accumulate so many things. Useless things, that I don't actually want, but when I try to get rid of them it hurts a little. I am not yet a hoarder. I throw away trash, broken things and stuff I really don't like. But I keep so much stuff because it might come in handy someday. So many things have emotional links for me, that really should not.

    Thank you for sharing your objects/memories. I enjoyed reading this.

    1. I have to be very careful not to start keeping things that I don't really need to trigger memories or have some special connection with. I will hoarde some odd things, not broken just really unnecessary - thread I am unlikely to ever use, bags, fabric. I've usually chocked some of it to being poor as a kid. Stuff feels very important when you don't have very much.