Category Archives: Moving

Moving Back In

You have to know when you take a year-long leave from your regular life that things won’t have just gone into suspended animation in your absence. I did know that, but seeing it is different. Seeing the weeds that come up to my waist and the accumulated junk from a lengthy garbage strike, and seeing broken bits and pieces and holes here and there, seeing nothing where I expected something, and plenty where I didn’t.
Dealing with all the minutia of returning to home and work after a year has been more physical than I would have imagined. More box lifting, more standing and bending to sort. Having barely walked the length of myself in Texas for the last few blistering hot months, it is liberating and limiting to spend so much time on my feet. I’ve got to get better at it – and quick!
So, instead of panicking, instead of feeling like everything and everyone should be the same, I have to let go and recognize that I’ve changed and that it’s entirely natural that everything and everyone around me would have continued their earthly revolutions as well. This change will soon be the new normal, so I’m going to move back in and find my place, one element at a time, and be grateful for the journey.


The Heat is On, and Moving On

Instead of a frenzied week of preparation for moving back to Toronto, it’s been more of a slow motion roller coaster – our air conditioning broke – and for a variety of reasons it won’t be fixed before I leave Texas tomorrow. Texas in August with no A/C – I wouldn’t wish it on a mortal enemy. And personally, I don’t stay cool easily, I run a little hot even in winter. So, I’m taking it worse than most. I have been spending lots of time either at the frosty library, or submerged in water up to my neck. I can’t remember if I mentioned the example of a can of fruit exploding in our cupboard on this blog, but that gives an indication of how hot it is inside the house.

In some ways, it’s been good. I haven’t had the energy to worry so much about my year finally being over, and having to leave my husband behind again. Instead, I have been more focused on channeling the memory of this kind of heat back into my writing on Tokyo, where I first experienced this degree of torpid temperature bludgeoning. I’ve also spent time saying good byes to the friends I’ve made here, ones that I wouldn’t have expected, but who made my cultural exchange so much richer.

So, I’m moving again, but this time, back into a house we already own that’s full of our belongings, so really, I’m just packing up clothes and books. Still, there’s always too much, so I’ve got the scale out now. Airlines only accept medium sized suitcases these days and I’m capped at 50 lbs each – so big red will stay in the closet down here.

I am worried about having to set an alarm. I haven’t done that more than 3 times this year, and only then to catch flights, not to get up for work. And I’m worried about the challenge of continuing to write with a very full time work schedule. I don’t want the hundreds of pages I finished this year to be the end of it. But I’m excited about getting home. I love city life, walking everywhere, the constant external stimuli. Friends and family you share history and geography with. Being in this suburb, as much as it has been a learning experience, has also sometimes felt like a trap. There’s only so far you can walk in this temperature without expiring. Maybe I’ll have to work on those driving lessons some more.


Moving Meditations – To The Power of 40

I’ve been swimming a lot. It’s too hot to even contemplate exercise in any other form, and my left Achilles hasn’t let me run in years. Texas heat can only be compared to the Tokyo variety. So, it’s swimming. Mostly indoors at my fancy pants club cool pool, and then I move outdoors for a couple laps of soupy Vitamin D. I need to credit my friend Jill for the term Moving Meditation, which is how she refers to her runs. I now think of it as any time when I’m unplugged and moving and my brain begins to toss up ideas and answers like my subconscious has been unleashed. But, given the almost lifelong nature of my many geographical moves, there’s a connection there as well.

Lately my swims have gotten longer as I’ve gotten stronger. I’m still slow but I’m up to 40. Very recently, that number was knocking and I was backing away from it, protracting my adolescence the best I could. Now, I find myself counting laps and reliving best/worst memories from each of those years, adding up to a tidy 40 laps or 1 km. It used to take me an hour to swim that, and now it’s only taking 45 minutes.

Maybe not coincidentally, my novel in its rewrite is 40 sections/chapters long (should I even admit this, given just how much that indicates will need to be hacked out?) and I find myself rethinking each of them as I count laps, and with some magical alchemy, finding solutions to problems or simply better insights.

I am a word person, and not typically fond of numbers, but this one has a meditative, even, roundness to it that I find myself embracing. For someone as chronically and infamously untidy as me, it is odd to embrace symmetry and balance, but that’s how I’m finding forty. And it’s finding me.