From Here to There…

<<Écrire est un acte d’amourS’il ne l’est pas il n’est qu’écriture.>> 
-Jean Cocteau

I’m still here. Still packing. I’m becoming more and more shark-like in my old age: if I don’t keep swimming, I’m gonna be a goner…

Today I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. My husband and I have been surviving on just about 3-4 hours of sleep per night lately and I think it is slowly taking its toll. He comes home late from work, we put the children to bed, and try to have a bit of time together. I work on the shop, my writing, whatever seems most pressing, then to bed and up early again to take our daughter to school.  We have started going out for coffee or breakfast in the mornings with our son, which has helped to give us a bit of clarity before being washed away by the day’s activities.  Lately, all the phone calls I make seem to disappear into the telecommunications ether… there are a lot more people away from their desks or mobiles at any given time than seems reasonable. Messages and emails head into the void where they’ll be trapped in the mythical “cloud” of virtual computing…

The thing about moving is that once you commit to the inevitable, you just need it to hurry up and be done with it.  I am sort of at that point…the other day I was thinking about how the world could stand to be more like Harry Potter’s Floo Network – just toss a bit of silvery, glittery powder, state where you want to go, and bang! You’re there. Instead, my days resemble more like his tireless search for horcruxes minus the winding plot.

Switching countries again is not short on bureaucracy, but the good news is that I am starting to get the hang of it. The trick is paring down your things to simple essentials with a bit of nostalgia thrown in, and to think about what you most likely will read, wear, or want to re-visit again in your new dwelling.  I also keep an old tea canister filled with impossible treasures and photos that are essential traveling companions. Anyone who knows me will attest to the magical gleam I get in my eyes when I am given the chance to rid the house of whatever clutter is gumming up the works. Rushes of adrenaline come in many forms you know!

When we last moved, from Montreal to Vancouver, we shipped 5,000 lbs of furniture, personal effects and books.  Books weighed in at a whopping metric tonne! While we adore the collection we have amassed over these many years, we simply cannot do with lugging around 2,000 extra pounds. Not to mention the kids’ collection! At last count they had over 400 books … Now each time the city of Vancouver opens the blue BOOK DROP donation bins scattered across the eastside, they will find many volumes of well-read tomes from which we have parted ways.  The wonderful thing about books is that you can read them, love them or hate them, “devour” them, pass them on to a friend, borrow them, share them in a discussion group, admire them in your bookcase…my most favourite part (after owning them and reading the stories they have to tell) is donating them, the momentary lapse and wonder at what books someone will find when they open the box…

Bearing all of this in mind, my clever husband bought me an eReader yesterday. He’d already promised me a meyer lemon tree once we arrive in Austin, but an eReader takes my desire for pared-down living to a whole new extreme.  Which one did we get? The Kobo Touch.  You can read about it here. I’ve just bought Murakami’s new release entitled “1Q84,” Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus” and also found many free volumes ranging from classics from the literary canon to Children’s Literature from the 1920s. At present I’ve loaded 88 books onto my Kobo, and have space for about 900+ more. I’m thrilled!

Tomorrow is Friday, a welcome end to the week and the start of a very exciting week-end! Our son is turning three years-old on Saturday and Halloween is Monday… I am swimming in preparations, but it’s that good ol’ shark thing again … you’ve just got to keep going…

Time for tea, stories and the not-so-melodic stylings of my roll of packing tape.

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