This week we moved from our house of the past 13 years to a condo. Well, to say “this past week” wouldn’t really be true. Months of preparing. Months of work. Days of hard labor that have felt more like years. Hardly a simple process. It pushed all three of us to our limits and still required more. Various states of disarray. Boxes. Everywhere. At first, flat and hidden, then tripping hazards, then assembled. Next – painfully and endlessly – filled, taped shut, and stacked to the ceiling. And into them, so many memories, so much of the past, and every bit of the future – yet unspoken, but imagined, anticipated, and hoped-for.
Questions swirl. What memories will yet be created in this new space? With whom will I have conversation? Over what will I laugh and cry, celebrate and grieve? What relationships will form? Which ones will end? What will I know and experience? What will I write?
Writing. Oh, that.
Every day – for days on end – has been so packed, so full, so exhausting that writing has felt like a distant memory; something I used to know and do, but can’t quite place. It’s been overcome by details, by movers, by conversations with my daughters about leaving the only home they really remember, by more trips to Target than I care to count, by “yes, let’s just order pizza…again,” by a wonky internet connection, by cables and cords, by muscles so sore that all I can do is fall into bed and barely get back out of it the next morning.
There’s been no writing.
It strikes me that it hardly takes a move for this to be my reality. I’ve struggled with it lately – not feeling at home. And because, frankly, it’s way easier, to not write, I haven’t. The similarities to moving abound: hardly a simple process, pushing me to my limits, still requiring more…
Writing calls forth my willingness to allow various states of disarray. Writing requires that I box up what no longer works and take it to the dump. Writing challenges me to make space, to start fresh, to invite beauty. Writing compels me to sort through stories, ideas, and words that ask to be unpacked, honored, and given their proper place. Writing is, in and of itself, hospitality: providing food, shelter, and rest for all that longs to be let in, welcomed, and hosted. Writing is home. And creating home takes work.
It’s no wonder that I’ve felt displaced. I’ve not wanted to do that work. To unpack the boxes that are piled ceiling-high in the attics and basements of my own mind and heart. To do the work of unwrapping everything protected. To not know if once unpacked, unwrapped, and exposed anything of value will be worth staying in and with. In order to write, to create, to be “at home” I have to be willing to move.
This is what I’m musing about even this morning as I finally sit down at a new desk and look through a new window.
Moving. Freeing all that’s been boxed to decorate and dance and inspire at will. Pulling up deeply entrenched roots and putting down others. Letting old stories be reimagined in new spaces and new ways; making room for those that are yet to be told (and lived). Welcoming my truest self, my very soul with hospitality. Coming home.
May it be so.