Someone said to me recently that moving home is one of the most difficult transitions/experiences to undergo and that it ranks alongside the death of a loved one, divorce, losing a job and so on.
I wonder sometimes if I am in denial about our imminent move. Pretending to myself that it will go smoothly. And wondering if I am in denial, whether this is a form of resistance in me, in one of its more insidious forms.
There is something meaningful about my visits to the townhouse when I cart stuff from home that fits into the spacious boot of my small car when the back seats are down. I like entering the townhouse and unlocking other doors and especially going into my study to unpack books and placing them consciously and strategically in the newly installed, very large, brand new bookcase in my study to-be. The days are so bright and sunny and warm right now in spite of it being winter so the driving backwards and forwards is a pleasure. The freeze is yet to come.
I also keep on wondering how to position my study desk and drawers from home, so that all is comfortable and cosy, inspiring and conducive to creativity for me.
It’s been rather wonderful to discover some old books like those slim ones by R.D. Laing. I remember his ‘Knots’ from when I was a young adult and how it made an impression on me; I will definitely re-read it soon and no doubt get tied up again in knots. There’s something rather special about untying knots and seeing whatever it is for what it is. I brought back home a few days ago his ‘Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise’ which I am currently re-reading in the bath at night. Deeply disturbing and psychologically penetrating and so apt for today’s world despite being published in the 1960′s.
I can’t say I feel stressed about the move because I don’t, not right now. I certainly feel more tired than usual and I put this down in part to the changing seasons here in South Africa, from autumn to winter. My skin is a bit grim and my erratic and appalling eating habits leave much to be desired. So maybe this is an expression of inner processes going on.
We have an indigenous herb in South Africa called impepho (do google it – it is a Zulu African Sacred plant and I am sorry I cannot yet figure out how to do a link but it is particularly interesting), which I used once before many years ago when tenants from hell in the townhouse finally moved out. It was an unbelievably stressful time over a year or two ‘dealing’ with those crooks. When finally, finally, they were out and locks were changed and all their stuff left behind was gotten rid of and the townhouse cleaned from top to bottom, side to side and inside out, I sourced impepho from an African market downtown and burnt it and let the smoke waft in and through and out. I could feel the horrible destructive negative energies leaving.
I won’t go the impepho route this time because there is no need. Our last corporate tenants loved the townhouse and its own well-tended garden and surrounding gardens in the complex and they left behind good vibrations.
I am hoping that our sons can fly up to Johannesburg and come and help with the final move on June 21st, (if that is when it is). In my fantasy I see the four of us having dinner at our new home on the longest night of the year, of bread and wine, blessing our new home and my husband’s father whose home it was until he died in it about 10 or 11 years ago. I will smudge the home with sage and ask the ancestors for safe passage for all.
All of that is looking forward in a positive way and saying hello to the new; but how will it actually be, I wonder, when I have to say goodbye to our old home. My sister is flying up from Cape Town next week and will hopefully keep me focused on the straight and narrow. I may well have a birthday lunch in the middle of next week as part of the ritual of goodbye and drinks later in the evening for those who can’t make lunch or tea or whatever I decide to do. Somehow it’s important that I do this.
That’s next week … and then the week after is the final push and pull.