Saturday, February 28, 2009

More about making progress

So, today was a serious book day. I spent all morning sifting the remaining 25% of the total, which took hours. I was able to list a few more. I have 144 listed, 5 purchased and off the list.

The entire process feels like molting. Molting is something that often comes as a surprise to a human primate, because we have no fur, really.. yet, most animals molt, and I think we do too, although more in a symbolic, non-conscious way perhaps. I tried to explain this recently to someone.
Apparently even primates molt, so I don't see why it would be outside the world of symbolic or even otherwise non-conscious expression of the human neuromatrix. I think another metaphor would be ripened compost - if it can't decompose any more, it either needs to support growth (die to itself while helping transform something into something else -birthing) or else it needs more scraps to take apart (feeding). If it doesn't move somehow, back into a flow, it is a waste of perfectly good nature. Human lives are long but still all too short to be wasted on regret or stasis. That's how I've always lived the one I've got, at least. A molt: when one's life no longer fits one comfortably, time to move it to a new sleeping nest. It's the human primate way.
Molting seems to be a not-very-enjoyable process for everyone who does it. Insects are at their most vulnerable as they push themselves out of their cocoons. Snakes have to strip themselves out of their own skins by first slashing their face skin on a rock. Birds look absolutely awful when they are partly molted. Dogs shed. Cats shed. Monkeys molt. It's a price critters have to pay. They don't look attractive while molting, and they must feel quite itchy and preoccupied. This all feels familiar to me on a mental level just now.

Last night, while in a wound-up, sleepless state, brought on no doubt by being preoccupied with trying to hold it together on the surface while feeling like everything is falling apart inside, and writing about it, sort of.. I wrote, regarding the mountain of books, "No one wants them - I can't even give them away.

Ha. What a difference a day makes.

I had noticed that whenever I put out a few loads of books they did seem to vanish fast. I accepted that. The neighbourhood is full of dumpster divers patrolling at all hours of the day and night, looking for anything they might be able to sell. This morning I took out a few bags full, went back in, came back out with a bag of garbage not five minutes later. Much to my surprise I found a car parked with its doors open, and a woman and two teenage girls merrily chattering and rapidly scooping up the books, putting them into the car. "Good" I said. "Someone is taking the books." She was about 40, very smiley and merry. "Oh yes, I've been finding piles of books here every day for the last three days. I've been coming over to rescue them! I love books! My mother loves books! I just live over there.." and she gestured across the alley.

So, it turns out that she's lived across the alley from me, a single mom raising her daughters, for years, since before I ever moved into my place. I told her I had a whole pile more and that she was welcome to them. Together we lugged the books over to her place and stacked them on the floor. About 6 round trips with my two plastic baskets and two cloth shopping bags for her. She was ecstatic. She was planning to go to massage school now that her children were nearly launched into life. Many of my discards were books she wanted but would have had a hard time affording, perhaps. Plus, she knows people who know people who can sell them for 50 cents each, or whatever, to raise money for battered women's projects, at used-clothing stores, etc. So hey, letting go of this burden is a good thing that benefits this very nice, nurturing woman and her social network, and helps feed her dream of being a self-sustaining body worker person in some community in the interior some day. It's all good.

A woman I know commented to me recently that I was good at manifesting. I said, "Well, I don't believe in that. But I do believe that situations do emerge, which require resolution, and that resolution of situations is a natural phenomenon." "Oh," she said.


Unknown said...

Wow, that was quite a leap from your Feb. 6 post to the two posts at the end of February. I take it that you have decided to act on the idea of moving to a sunnier clime - Hawaii?

I am struggling with my own piles of books, but the need to resolve the issue is not so urgent (My wife might disagree). I don't think being attached to books or being attached to people is an either or proposition. We form attachments to all sorts of things and all sorts of people. And no two attachments are exactly the same.

If moving meant that one was severing all attachments, I would be very broken hearted during this season when my children are leaving the nest. The separation hurts, but I am glad that they are making choices and moving on in life.

That is what you are doing. Making choices and moving on. What a wonderful thing it is that we can still reach people we care about via all sorts of electronic means. A century or so ago, the decision to move meant one was necessarily greatly reducing all communications with the folks left behind. How handy for you that so many of your relationships already seem to be well maintained via the internet!

Diane Jacobs said...

Hawaii? I wish. No, I'll be moving to Canada's "deep south" - southern Ontario. The sky is blue most of the time, there's more sunshine, and there will be a half hour more daylight in the deep winter than I'm used to.

Yes, I'm glad there is internet.