Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Small bits of progress

So, by now I've been inside several of these little charming-looking on the outside, cottagey homes, and have seen how how ramshackle the walls and ceilings, how flimsy the windows, how old the furnaces and scary the basements, how dangerous the stairs down into them, how buckled up and damp and cracked and upheavaled the floors and basement walls are, how desperately people tried to reinforce them. Hmmnn.. don't think so.

On the bright side, I got my big computer up and running (so much faster than the laptop), and will have tethered internet installed this afternoon, with my mother's consent. I was so glad to find out it had been tough enough to survive the trip to Weyburn riding on the floor by the front seat, clad only in a couple taped-on recycled grocery bags, with lots of stuff pressing against it and a lot of bumpy fast driving.

I will be able to get a lot more of my regular stuff done now, plus I'll be able to preview properties way easier.

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27/09 - first day of the rest of this life

I am sleeping these days - deep deep deep, lots of decompressing dreams. Many hours of dreamless sleep too. I think my brain is beginning to catch up to itself. All this going to bed at 9 and not waking up until 6, then sleeping for a couple more hours in the afternoon has got to be a good thing. Seriously - I had no clue how exhausted I really was. Getting that rental van back on Saturday was the final task related to Vancouver. Now I feel fully suspended between lives.

Today, there will be a small bit of banking, and the fun stuff of going house shopping will begin. I might just buy a little house to live in, with a little yard. Weyburn is so incredibly safe I doubt I'll be in any danger. All my mom's friends are in their 70's, 80's, and they all seem to have a nice little cottagy house to live in, unmolested, with a little garden to keep them outside and active, growing fresh things that they cook and share with each other. They are doing great.. seem to be aging well and healthily in spite of bitter winters. Such great models for an almost-60 year old.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Made it.

Cleaned the last surface, threw out the last bit of trash, moved out the last bit of important computer gear, disguised as luggage, and put it in the front seat. There was only enough room for me left in there. I locked the door for the last time and pushed the key back inside under the door.

At 10:30 PM, got in the van and started it. Couldn't find the lights. Thought, well, they probably come on automatically. Let's just go. Drove out along the highway which was well enough lit. When I got further out in the country, I realized I didn't have lights. Stopped the van, opened the door, looked around, saw the lights, was ecstatic to see that when I turned the headlights on the dash lights dimmed - they had been annoyingly bright.

I got to Weyburn in two days with that first burst on Tuesday night, which had got me all the way to Merritt BC, well into the land of cowboys, sage and C&W music before I was too tired to drive. As I got closer to Sask I relaxed more and more. I could feel years of accumulated big city stress with all its attendant inner tension, drift off. The stress level went down in direct proportion to increase of blue-dome sky, lowering of the horizon, widening of the space around me, increase in highway visibility and speed limit.

Arrived in Weyburn yesterday afternoon. Today, opened a new account, monies are transferring, modem has been mailed back to the internet company, and at 2 PM (in about a half hour) I have a new set of two guys and a moving dolly organized to help me unload the truck in my mom's cousin's garage. It's all good. Tomorrow I drive the van to the airport in Regina, and get rid of another headache, take the bus back to Weyburn, look for a place to live.

Today in the Credit Union I was struck at how clean, civil and safe it felt. The public washrooms were actually public, and clean and no needles or broken crack pipes. The floors were spotless. The place was quiet. Lone tellers worked at isolated desks around corners from each other, completely relaxed. Clearly there is no problem of urban density/expensive square footage/repeated hold-ups here.

There is no graffiti anywhere to be seen. I even looked at a few nice little houses for sale within walking distance, two or three blocks, of "downtown", which is all of 6 square blocks. Yup, I'm going to like living here. There are even green trees here. But they aren't a shaggy dark overwhelming jungle, towering over the buildings, they are short and cheery. Big city amenities in a small safe town.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tonight, tonight, won't be just any night

I just got back home with the van, and words cannot express how relieved I felt to learn that it's a Dodge Caravan with seats that disappear under the floor, and a bit more length than I was expecting. This is great - I can relax, all my worldly belongings should fit without any problem, big and bulky though the bags may be.

The phone has already been disconnected. I shall have to leave a note taped to the enterphone downstairs for the movers, but that's a small detail. Not that small details aren't important. Just that a big huge detail I was stressing over no longer exists and I can feel endogenous opioids. Life is good.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The final weekend

I can feel the end of life as I've known it for over 25 years. No matter how I've longed for this and worked hard to get here to this shift point, as I'm poised over the intersection between the life I've grown accustomed to and the life I will move into, I feel poignancy. I can't help it. It's inevitable.

As one moves through life, one must, gracefully as possible, continue to move one's life along consciously, through time, at the same time, and at about the same speed, in a mirroring fashion. The former happens anyway, completely non-consciously. The latter involves conscious reconnaissance, taking new bearings, re-navigating, making new maps of new shorelines.

A life, consciously lived, seems to involve putting things away and into the past, no matter how much one might have enjoyed one's interaction with them, and moving along willingly, consciously making room for new. This happens all the way along anyway. It happens biologically in the womb, as the developing egg leaves behind its egg "shell," its zona pellucida, it's first ever "blankie." Later the fetus has to leave behind its placenta, its second "blankie." Later, it involves letting go of toys, actual tattered blankets perhaps, stages of childhood, various levels of interactions with one's parents. Later still, it involves letting go of outgrown social roles, various constructs of self, beliefs one may have once entertained or even clung to fiercely, places, and people. It involves being left behind by those who die. Finally, it involves letting go of life itself, oneself, saying goodbye to that too. As gracefully and honestly and openly and with as few regrets as possible. All the "blankies" one ever projected solace onto. I totally get the idea in Buddhism about attachment/detachment. It's the main key to becoming and remaining contented, no matter what else might be going on.

I'm learning that the less material I have to deal with, actual "things" that take up time and consideration, the better my brain seems to be working and the more time and peaceful leisure I have for things like being on Facebook, exploring attachment on another level, practicing making a "group" and a "page" and "friending" people. It's all good. Then I'll be detached from that too, for a few days, as I wend my way through the mountains driving a loaded minivan, back to the land of nearly perpetual sunshine and big blue sky. That will feel good too, in its own way.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I still have a week to go, living in a mostly empty condo, everything timed so that the TV and couch (my two remaining luxuries in life) will go out the door next weekend or on Monday, leaving me a whole day to put the finishing touches on packing, spackling, floor washing. I want to leave this place impeccable, and impeccably.

I still felt saddled by some large things I could barely move by myself, an old dresser and a bookcase, and few small tables, one lamp. I called 1-800-GOT-JUNK, made an appointment to have them come on Monday the 20th, just in case. However, meanwhile I managed to shove the two big pieces out into the hall, and put up a notice that they were free for the taking. This morning I was delighted to see they had been taken. Which means, I can cancel GOT-JUNK.

This is a big lift. It feels as if an updraft just caught my wings and I'm soaring effortlessly. The best part is, I still have an entire week to enjoy the feeling of being lifted effortlessly up out of the rut I had made, with all its "stuff," and grok, really grok this sense of freedom, memorize it, neuroplasticize it deeply into the chemistry set of my brain, so that I never forget how it feels to be light and carefree and effortless, letting the universe support my feeling playful.

The mental molt part is over. When the last big bookcase disappeared from the hallway, so did the last itchy spot in my sense of self.

The best part? We haven't even got to that yet! The best part is that I'm still here floating freely in Vancouver in my familiar surroundings for another whole week, able to still love them in this incredibly detached fashion, unbound by them, relishing my own anticipation of the week that is to come, the nice clean zen feel of it, the space of it reflected by the emptiness of my rooms, the carefreeness. THIS is the holiday feeling I need in the middle of my marrow. At last. This is how freedom is supposed to feel. It feels great!

A week from now, I will have to enact the actual move: from the high soaring place, from floating effortlessly on the updraft, I shall have to peer at the landing place, begin the descent: I shall have to take the sky train over to the train station where the mini-van waits to be picked up, deal with paperwork, drive it to my place, coordinate with the two guys I hired to load it, hope that it will contain everything satisfactorily, then actually drive myself and what's left of my life and stuff through the mountains to the flat land, where the sky is big and the sun shines almost all the time, every day. It will take two days to arrive, to touch down, start a new life cycle. Figure out, all over again, what I want to be when I grow up.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


The day before yesterday I chanced to look across the street to see a parked mini-van. I was a bit shocked at how small it was. I think I had been thinking of those big hippy vans from the 70's, perhaps, but with more windows. I started to get a queasy feeling in conjunction with a thought that maybe I wouldn't have enough room in the mini-van for the cubic footage of what I think I want to take with me.

This feeling built over the course of the day.

Yesterday I paid a visit to the company I'll be renting from, and one of the agents kindly allowed me to take a look inside a typical size mini-van, practice folding the seats down etc. It helped a lot. It is more apparent now that I, the basket queen, will have to let go of even more stuff.

Alrighty then. Chuckchuckchuck.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The silent auction continued

Yesterday evening a neighbour phoned and asked if she could bring her friend over to see some of the furniture I tried to auction off a week ago. I said sure. They came, they saw, they bought. The oak buffet, hutch, a large mirror, a carved wooden chest, and a table lamp have now found new homes. I sold them cheap.
Benefit to them: they get them way cheaper than I did.
Benefit to me: I get a little something, and do not have to pay to have them removed.

After giving the matter some serious albeit spattered attention, I decided yesterday to hire a couple guys and a dolly for an hour to come and load my van for me. It just makes good sense. I don't want to start a long road trip in a sitting position after having used my back in a manner repetitive and effortful. That's a recipe for back pain, which I do not need. It's not just the umpteen bags of heavy books I've packed and stacked, it's the heavy rug, 10x13, that I've decided to take with me since it's too big for anyone's space and therefore they do not want to buy it. I can't even lift let alone move that beautiful thing by myself. No way. So, in that I have to hire someone for that one item anyway, and pay them for an hour, I might as well keep them busy for an hour. If I'm organized, I can leverage their muscle power and get the whole job done.

This phase of the move is like second wind to a runner. It seems way easier than could have been imagined.

Friday, July 03, 2009


I was going to title this post "Friday Friday," but decided double naming days of the week was getting a bit old. It started because that Mommas and Papas song, Monday Monday, kept going through my head.

The weather here has been very very good. Beautiful even. It's as though Vancouver is giving me a lovely send-off. I must say, I really appreciate it. I can feel my energy improving, and my mood. I can hardly wait to go back to living in a place, where, although I was never any PollyAnna, how I felt or functioned was never weather-related. It was probably more age-related.

A strong image of myself came to me this week, a sense that when I moved here 25 years ago, it was as though a bow started to be slowly drawn back, and I was the arrow. I didn't feel it at all, all this becoming aimed at something. In fact I felt quite aimless much of the time. I could feel something sliding by however, and assumed it was merely time. It was the string of the bow, softly scraping me.

About a year ago, I started a bunch of activity that was new. Now I see it was the arrow-me, fully drawn back. Lots of tension. Unable to sense any movement. Having to create some. Get ready for something. Something that felt like it could be big. Huge restlessness.

Meanwhile, even as tension was buildingbuildingbuilding inside, outside, life proceeded calmly, containedly. I lost weight, got rid of a big albatross of a car, most uncharacteristically took a vacation. This past year has been all about me the arrow feeling pulled all the way back against the bow, then being held still by a Samurai, pointed toward a target. It's been about me knowing I was about to be launched at a target, trying to see what the target was. Is. It's me.

Now, from here, I can see that I have been the bow all along, as well as the arrow. It was not pleasant, or comfortable, it didn't feel good, it was painful at times, but it was also hopeful, occasionally exciting, and ultimately, necessary. Now, from here, I can see I'm the Samurai too. I don't have to let go until I feel one with the arrow-me, the bow-me, the target-me.

This is a calm time. The city is lovely. The weather is at the top of its game. I feel still on the inside, not especially busy on the outside. I'm getting caught up to myself. Things are coming together even as they are being pulled apart. I'm packing, organizing, deconstructing the life I allowed to build too big with stuff because I never thought I'd ever move again.

I'm letting go of the dream red velvet couch I enjoyed for 12 years, to a woman who has always dreamed of owning and enjoying a red velvet couch. She also bought my dream round oak pedestal dining table with lion claw feet, and I know that she and her partner will fill their home with many happy dinner parties. She bought my set of off-white dishes that will never scratch or chip because they're made of some amazingly hard substance. I was in it for the long haul, and loved these treasures for how they seemed to confer permanence and stability and quality. Now they will confer all that to her.

People are coming over to pick up the things they bought at the auction. I'm filling up the Chinese plaid plastic bags with the stuff I'm taking. I get tired so I take a nap. There's nowhere else I have to go, nothing else I have to do. I can pack in a manner truly luxurious, emptying out of existence anything that no longer serves my particular life, and keeping anything I want or really require. I can deal with the feelings that come up unexpectedly, as they arise. I can consider them fully, instead of setting them aside or pushing them away because of having too much outside life to deal with. I get it. I really get it now, how this is the best way to live a conscious life. Have lots of time and space around each thought, each feeling. Have lots of space, period.

Soon the arrow will fly.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday Wednesday

Happy Canada Day.

To celebrate Canada Day I did more coffee drinking, interneting, arranging with people for them to come by and take away their new treasures (my old ones, recycled). I got $225 today for household things, a framed print, a leather chair with ottoman, a table and rug. Not bad. I also hauled out 6 more loads of books and left them for whoever. (My book-lady neighbour did not respond to my note left taped to her door, and I've lost her phone number.)

I loaded up eight more large trash bags full of this and that for the Canadian Diabetes Association to pick up, in about a week. I carefully organized and packed a couple of those cheap strong plaid plastic bags, for moving.

I feel a lift under the wings. It feels like things have accelerated slightly. The apartment is emptying out, no books visible, pictures down, bare walls showing, floor space opening up. Empty bookcases. I feel so much more detached from all this than I did in February, when I had to dredge up the energy to start the process. Now, it feels like I'm nearly there.

Did I do anything special for Canada Day? No... not yet. My participation/connection to the rest of the human primate troop I belong to, now celebrating, is watching the festivities on TV. Later I'll be able to hear the boom of the fireworks outside over the water, whether I want to or not. Yay - happy birthday, Canada, my home and native land.