Saturday, September 27, 2008

Preparing for Lift-Off

I'm sitting on my floor, with my laptop on a plastic storage box, with my possessions in two suitcases, a carry-on, a duffle bag, and two plastic boxes. My computer desk goes this morning to its new owner and my bed disappears tomorrow night.

Every day my apartment becomes a little larger and a little cleaner and a little more foreign to me. The memories of the good times and the growing older-- if not up-- that has taken place in this vanilla box are now packed away inside me and inside things that will be left behind.

This is a familiar state for me to be in now but the first time I went through it is still carved into my memory. "Don't forget to breathe," an acquaintance advised me at one point in the departure process, "It's like childbirth, but it lasts longer."

For me, who could have happily given birth in any nearby potato field, it was infinitely worse than childbirth. Each time I do this, it becomes a shorter period of hyperventilation, but the question remains. Why was I inflicted with the DNA that caused my ancestors to leave England in the early 1600s, Ireland during the Potato Famine, and most recently, my teenage grandfather to accompany his older brothers on a ship that took him from Germany to America?

I like to think that I am simply preparing a new home for my family to come to, just as my forbears did--and with the current political and economic climate, this may not be a fantasy. Who knows? A tiny Alaskan colony may soon be established in Bangkok, in flight from Sarah Palin and the victory of the Religious Right. (A girl can dream, can't she?)

10 comments:

Jessi Cotterill said...

Yo!! You've got only 2 suitcases??

You reminded me when I was moving out of Chiang Mai. We rented a unit in a condo and all furniture and kitchenware belonged to the owner of the unit. On the day we moved when I walked out of the room and looked back I felt like I was just going out and I'd be back in a couple of hours. But I never go back there, and life goes on to a better place and we've got better furniture and kitchenware!!

Janet Brown said...

One of the best things about leaving is giving almost everything away--and eventually finding new things and starting the whole cycle all over again. In--as you say--a better place!

Jessi Cotterill said...

yes...and if you believe, better (in some ways) people are waiting for you out there too.

Have a nice nice trip to my country.

Janet Brown said...

I love your country and am eager to become a guest there again. Are you feeling better, Jessi? (I hope!)

Kim said...

Yes, dream away. And prepare to breathe in deeply that beautiful hot air of tropics. The envying is all mine right now. I love you.
Kim

Alison said...

Well, I am not the traveler that you are, and I am happy to stay home and share your cat. He's wonderful. I can't believe his confidence - he literally came in and has been setting all other cats and dogs straight. I think he has found his place on the bed too - which is a bit dismaying for me. We really need to get a California King if this continues.

I love you and am excited for you - and I still plan to get my non traveling butt over to Thailand to visit you in 2009. As soon as I find a house sitter to watch all of these animals!

Alison

Tokyo Ern said...

Oh my, so the time has come!! I'll be looking forward to seeing you in Bangkok again (and I will introduce you to my wife).

We love to travel and we love adventure. After my sister's wedding in Vegas next month, we're already making plans for our next trip - India to see the Taj Mahal!! And Delhi and Jaipur as well if we're lucky.

cat said...

Moving internationally is the ultimate in spring cleaning your life.

May your coming adventure be full of everything you wish for.

Jessi Cotterill said...

just wondering where you are now...

cat said...

me too... and wondering about a house sitter...