Friday, August 20, 2010


I feel naked without my tools - the paints, paper, silks, and books.
I caught myself ready to open a box so I could make someone a present.
There's a relentless quality to the moving process in these final days.
The place is in chaos but there's always a quiet retreat somewhere.
Usually that place is anywhere but inside my head - too much to think about.
Perhaps if I'd begun sooner - left my job a month ago instead of last week.
I've thrown away my work clothes, those black skirts and jackets.
It's not that I'm tired of black but some things are just plain finished.
My favorite silk jacket had lining so worn it couldn't be fixed again.
I wore it just the same but not every day - probably just once a week, if that.
Sometimes I needed the feeling of elegance and comfort it gave me.
The tiny rhinestone Canada brooch on its lapel dreamed another life.
The country I return to is not the one I left behind.
I have no illusions.
I'm not the person I used to be either.
I know I'm kinder and more compassionate
But don't know if that's a natural result of the added 30 years
Or because of all the people and places I've grown to love in the US.
I can guarantee I'm not complacent but I never was.
On the other hand, I've developed too many comfortable habits.
Change comes whether we embrace it or not.
Laughter is an excellent antidote for fatuous obsessions.

I saw myself reflected in big windows every morning.
Dark glass doors opened at my approach.
I wonder if they saw me as I left.
I never looked back to check.


Mauigirl said...

I love these reflections...especially that last stanza.

marja-leena said...

Me too, and your photo! The design in your curtain is like those in your drawings!

I admire how you are taking the challenges of change very positively.

Lisa said...

This took my breath away.

Sean Jeating said...

You do not need to read my thoughts, Susan; you (do almost) know them anyway, hm?
However, I do think you might like to read this, whilst almost being ready to take the next step.
Hm? ...
Good luck!

Nancy said...

Wonderful writing, Susan. Heartfelt and soulful.

susan said...

mauigirl - Sometimes we get lucky, don't we?

marja-leena - Glad you liked it. That's actually etched glass window film on the glass closet doors.

We dance where we're put :-)

lisa - What can I say?

sean - Oh that's a very beautiful poem by Hesse. I've always loved his work and am grateful for this reminder. A Vedanta teacher I respected used to remind his students that there's no building allowed in the airport transit lounge.

nancy - I had to post one thing like this. Next will be time to move on to the fun part. You know all about that too.

Liberality said...

Oh how I hate change sometimes. I get to like where I'm at and I don't want to move but move on I will because change is always happening whether I fight with it or not.

I love broaches but feel too fancy when I wear them so they sit in my jewelry box most of the time.

jams o donnell said...

It looks like the big move is looming fast. I love the photo

Seraphine said...

i love your little poem about the door mirrors at the end.

i guess you're trying on a lot of different things now, memories and emotions and silks.
do you know what will feel good? when you get all settled into your new home. when you discover the guy down the halls likes to boil sauerkraut and eggs every evening and it stinks up the entire hallway. when you unpack everything and discover there's a box of important stuff missing (that has happened to me. but do you know what? it doesn't really matter anymore). when you have everything in its place and you can relax again.

susan said...

liberality - Me too nowadays. We rented a place we haven't seen but are already planning to move after the first year to one more suitable and hopefully more permanent.

My Canada pin is very small but I rarely wear jewelry other than two rings.

jams - Thanks :-)

sera - I don't know where that one came from.

The movers have told us they have 8-23 days to get our stuff delivered so we're not sure how long we'll be homeless or even how much time we can take driving there. Likely by the time we're settled we'll be thrilled by the sauerkraut guy.

Steve Emery said...

Wow. This is so well put. Like the Chinese poems translated by Rexroth, which I purchased recently, finding one in this post:

This post of yours has the same feelings of questioning why we give so much of our lives to the glass doors... the bit in our mouths.

susan said...

steve - I went and looked at his translations and found he'd not only chosen well but that his translations are marvelous. 'Sorrow' was also very beautiful. Now I've bookmarked his page of other translations and may indeed buy the book myself once I'm no longer afraid to purchase one more thing.

I'm glad you liked what I wrote - it just came pouring out.