It’s August. Officially. It means I can no longer put the move to Berkeley out of my mind. It means I have to start detaching and live in the here-and-there-ness of this new chapter.
The first time I moved, it was easier. It was easier because I was running away from a life in deviation from what I wanted and expected. A life in shambles seemed easier to leave. But, now my life has stabilized in such an unexpected and beautiful way. I’m not finished living in its newness, and yet I am following a call requiring me to uproot.
The summer before I started high school I began work on “The Wall.” The Wall started as a small patch of collaged photographs push-pinned into drywall. Then it grew. By the time it was finished, I had covered a wall over eleven feet high and twelve feet wide. The Wall has been arranged and rearranged countless times and endured a move during my senior year of high school.
When the move to Berkeley became official, the dismantling of The Wall commenced. The small things came off first, but this week large patches of the original purple wall have been revealed beneath twenty-five years of living.
Birthday cards, graduation cards, baby pictures, family photos, pictures of friends, drawings, paintings, poems, quotes, vintage tins, travel posters, ticket stubs, a large world map, album covers, vacation mementos. Anything influential. Anything I loved; even remnants of relationships long dissolved.
I am finding it all at once healing and painful, but then I suppose healing is never without a measure of pain.
As I take it apart, I can see all the layers, all the ways I had to rearrange the material; all the ways I accommodated for a life rearranged. The good memories mingle with the sad ones and both are wrapped in unease over what is to come next. I spent a long time erecting a visual representation of my life, but so little of it is relevant now. Much of it represents a ghost, for I am no longer the same, but there is a longing for the ghost and a desire to be rid of her.
As the purple begins to reclaim space on the wall, there is sorrow, but there is also a peaceful emptiness. There is an opportunity.
Life seems to be ever teetering on the edge of an end and a beginning. It is so hard to see the opportunity and to claim it; to lean into a re-imagined future; an unexpected future, a God-claimed future.
Surrender is hard.