on relocating

What is it to move? We need no suitcases nor giant truck full of our belongings to engage in this verb.

To move is to extend body into another place.

To move is to take up space.

To move is to spread language like slow-churned butter onto walls and over potholes and between bricks on buildings.

To move is to understand where you began and where you have lead yourself.

Recently, I have relocated. Not to a faraway land, but a different part of a familiar borough. With ceilings far longer than arms’ reach and backyard and sun drenched walls. With built-in bookcases by fairy-tale landlord. With smells of poetry and granola wafting within each room.

As I packed in preparation for this new space, I found myself touching everything I own and asking why it still exists. In the land of New York where closets are deemed as “an extra bedroom” and square footage is comparable to some people’s weights, it can be difficult to hold onto things. So, I created piles: to keep, to give away, to leave behind.

I come from a long lineage of “hoarders”. But please do not be mistaken. We are of a people not fit for television reality show; instead, we hoard memories. And the dust that gathers on recollections can be fierce and overpowering.

Just yesterday, my too-good-to-be-true-but-he-is landlord spoke this advice: Sometimes it’s important to just let go of things. Ask yourself if you are ‘in need of it’ or if ‘it defines you’. And what that even means. In the end, sometimes it’s best to just photograph the ‘memory’. Because even if you throw ‘it’ away, the memory still exists. No garbage can can take that away.

day 12: welcome in the chaos

There is no meaning without just a little bit of chaos. Gather up your gnawed-at wires and all those batteries scattered around your home like miniature rolling pins for miniature pastries.

Walk inside the worry of a wound.

You’ve thought about this for weeks. No, months. (Years sounds far more dramatic. To be able to leave all your alphabets behind in order to enter a place without baggage. Literally. Of course, metaphorical baggage will travel with you near and far, with and without passport. Chaos is defined as: complete disorder and confusion: snow caused chaos in the regionBehavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions. 

We view this as odd, unfamiliar and troubling. But what if we welcomed in this chaos. If it left you to adventure. If it arrived at the answer to all your question marks. If it encouraged more photographs to be lived out loud, rather than viewed behind glass screens.

This is what I mean: On a long train ride from one part of somewhere to another, a human gets up and begins asking every passenger– one-by-one– how their day went. It went a little something like this:

Chaos Encourager: Hi. (spoken to someone stuffed inside a suit perhaps
more expensive than my rent payment) How was your day today?

Traveler 1: (silence)

Chaos Encourager: How are you adjusting to this weather? Did your
feet stay warm? Today, I thought that if I were to title this day,
I might call it a grumble of shivers. Do you ever think like
that? Hey, I really like your tie.

Traveler 1: (silence, then…looks up from cell phone game with
neon colors) Thank you. Thanks for noticing.

I know what you are thinking. There is no way this actually happened, but it did.

We forget to notice what needs to be noticed. Others. The smell of the air. The instrumentation of the rain outside, which may be a bother because it makes everything wet, but it also sounds like a symphony of percussion.

Chaos just means interrupting the norm. The quiet. The undisturbed. 

What are we so afraid of? What if we were to break these habits of looking away? We forget that if we were to lift our heads from cell phone hypnosis, we might find actual meaning to things.

chaosdisorder, disarray, disorganization, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, havoc, turmoil, tumult, commotion, disruption, upheaval, uproar, maelstrom; muddle, mess, shambles, free-for-all; anarchy, lawlessness, entropy.  an order to the disorder.