I’m going into mourning, then I’ll celebrate

The other day I scheduled a flight to the US. I know I’ll only be there for a short time. I know I’ll be back in Ireland soon. But I really don’t want to go. There’s too much to do, too much to see, so much to be where I am now. And not enough time.

It’ll be a short trip. Just enough time to sell my truck, take care of my taxes and clear my storage locker. Do you know that all the kitchen stuff I never used takes up more room not being used in storage than not being used in a kitchen? Blame it on the padded packing. I hope someone else gets more use from the things than I did. Ditto for the bed, dining room set and a few unique lamps. Everything else has been a long time gone.

What’ll be left that will cost me money to keep?

Well first, there are all the tax-law mandated files from a lifetime of mostly self-employment. Sure they’re scanned onto a couple of backup drives. And just as surely we’ve all experienced crashes and software obsolescence. Paper survives. [And the fact that I’m keeping these files means I’ll never need them.]

Most of my serious camping gear is already gone. Did I tell you about the response to my Craigslist ad for my backpack from a Colorado resident who wanted to trade me weed for it? My collection of tools from years of house rehabbing has already been pared to a minimum – and I’ll probably stumble across a few more things that will find their way to a local theatre company’s shop.

I’ll keep a few boxes of books written by my friends, talismans of wonderful words and thoughts from even more wonderful people. You know who you are and I hope you know how much you mean to me. Oh yes, and some of my own artwork and prints. I don’t know if I can bear to say goodbye to those pieces of me just yet. The size of the smallest available storage closet will be the final determinant of how much I’ll winnow from my life. Two years living from a duffle proves I don’t really need much.

And that’s about it.

I don’t know if each disposal will be cause for celebration or wistfulness. After all, this is the final stage of a process that began a while back. What’s left now are the pieces that I thought I might need if I ever returned to the US. They’ll be the first and easiest to say goodbye to. The rest? Tied to memories. The good, bad and in-between parts of living life in a human body in today’s world.

When I’m done, I’ll catch another plane, with another one-way ticket. It’ll be a quiet celebration, starting at liftoff and looking out the window over a dark ocean. That jet-lagged morning-after will be my wake-up call for my newest life.

I’ll be coming home.

10 Comments on “I’m going into mourning, then I’ll celebrate

  1. As I recall you made a move to Colorado just prior to your hop to Ireland and therefore I’m guessing your locker is there somewhere and not in Raleigh! Should I be incorrect and it turns out that you are going to be in NC would love to see you.

    • Steve, your guesses are right, but I’m planning on getting back east sometime in January. Let’s plan on a drink or three then. I’ll touch base once I have a better idea of my schedule.

  2. Ring out the old, bring in the new…a new chapter in the adventure that is your life begins.

  3. Such a very brave thing you are doing. As I read your journey, I too have slowly been working on a great peeling of layers of self…of past identities that were boxed, while building others. This unfolding is an art in itself through time. We ponder the selves wrapped in things. My attempts are not so bold as yours, but little by little, steps by step the unravelling continues through papers and almost forgotten melodies, recordings, gifts, old paintings and photographs. Canvases where every stroke rekindles a place and being in time, long gone. Each song explodes with memories of sessions, musicians, and dreams. I am here now, unravelling and evaluating what shall remain. While your journey is spread throughout the world, mine is now gathered all in one place. Seems like the intent is much the same. I gather the best of what was to now begin the flight and rebirth. I hope you will carry us all along your continued journey as friends.

    • Thank you, Sherrie. I appreciate your comments today and over the past months. Yes, you and many others will continue to be part of my life, no matter where I am. To borrow a thought-starter from another writer you may have heard of: “All the world’s a stage,” and we’ve got the advantage of knowing it’s improv where we can change character and scene from act to act to act.

  4. I’m tossing stuff too — after the project of clearing out an aunt’s two huge storage units. So many pairs of scissors! I’m glad Ireland’s good!

    • Don’t run too fast with all those scissors, unless it’s to your keyboard to write a story about them.

  5. Jim, This is such a thoughtful post. It is one filled with content. My heart is with you on this journey. Take the be in the moment mentality as you travel back and forth and the task will become none other than a beautiful thread in the tapestry of your life.
    PS I love you other articles as well but this one hits home.

    • Thank you, Cheri. Home is one of those words that conveys so much more than a physical place. It sounds like you’ve found your home, too.