on collecting, or water from all sides
Change has been my constant companion the past few months. I’ve moved across the country. Left behind are the people I love in a city that is also equally missed. I am no longer a teacher. I am a student again. Everything and every day is brand new. There are no routines in this new life yet, everything is washed clean.
Two months ago though I was still in the throws of sorting and packing, putting what soon would be referred to as my other life into boxes and then into an even larger box called storage. Having gone through this process countless times before, at least 5 times in Philadelphia alone, I had a system for the initial sort, organize and pack, putting things into groups and then packing all like things together. This kind of system helps when one is a borderline hoarder and has a LOT of everything like myself. By the time I got to the special wonders portion of my life’s contents, I really had to employ the grouping method on multiple tables. Little by little the house became an impromptu gallery of eccentric collections of…? Stuff? I guess we’ll be kind and just call it stuff.
It’s funny what you learn about yourself through the objects that you collect when you don’t even realize you are collecting them. These little subconscious patterns, the things we lean towards, what we crave to have near us. Innate attractions? Coincidence? Muscle memory? Whatever it is can’t really be denied when it’s looking back at you in multiples on your coffee table. This is one of the collections discovered during one of those faithful days of sorting. Piles of rocks, stones, a few shells & pods, some decades old, accompanied by small notes with locations and dates. Tiny worlds, complete documents of a lifetime of walking along shorelines.
I guess I’ve been collecting rocks by the water’s edge for some time now. I know I’ve been doing it in my head for even longer than the evidence would support. I guess I’ve been trying to stay close to the thought of it when I wasn’t nearby. I am close to water on all sides now, all the time, we’ll see how it goes. I wonder if I’ll still be picking up rocks. The land ends, all the edges bleed out into blue and there is nowhere else to go. I live in California now. We’ll see how it goes.