Monday, August 06, 2007

Future and Past

My days are full of newness: planning, figuring, shaping, and raising the walls of the greenhouse/sunroom/passive solar heat source that we are adding to our house.

Sometimes I still open the kitchen door and stop myself abruptly, before I step into the open air expecting the steps that aren't there anymore.

(To reassure the safety conscious, I'll mention that there is a scaffold right in front of the doorway at chest level, so I'd have to be almost comatose to actually walk out and hurt myself.)

These last few days there are more confused moments, as we have compressed all the living room and office furniture into half of the living/office room, and added a bedroom of sorts into the other half. We had to move out of our old bedroom before the plaster dust got too bad - that room is becoming the living room eventually, but right now it is a construction zone. Still, sometimes when I am on a mission to find a certain object, I open the old bedroom door and step halfway into the empty, plaster-strewn, open-air room before I realize that my bedroom is elsewhere now. Stranger still is the sensation of sitting at this computer (now facing east in the northeast corner of the living room instead of facing west in the southwest corner) with my perceptual world shrunk to the glowing screen and the keys, and then hearing a noise outside. Who is thumping in my back yard? No, wait, I'm facing east; that sound is coming from the street out front.

Confusing though it may be, I am thriving on the change, the puzzling out of how best to shape our lives in this space, and the sheer thrill of making something - something lasting and big.

So I find it very hard to shift gears and tackle the pile of dusty old cardboard boxes that couldn't sit in the back of my closet anymore. I now have no room for this stuff. None. Well, there are places where some of it can be tucked in - the bits that actually belong in my life today and tomorrow and next year. But that tucking will require more culling: a few inches of bookshelf cleared here, a bit of file cabinet emptied there.

And I don't want to do it.

I want to build the new, not deal with the old.

It is so tempting to just tip it all into the garbage.

But as I start poking through it, I find family photos, and letters from old friends I should contact before I lose touch with them completely, and oh, the piles of good stuff to read. But there is always more good stuff to read. Should I just let this stuff go?

And so I flounder, and set the boxes aside again.

I wonder. This house I am building - will I someday be struggling, waffling, wondering whether to let it go?


Madcap said...

It's going to be so nice to bask in all that passive solar in February!

Oh, the stuff. I just gunged out Poppy's room, and I swear, we'll have half as many loads going to the new house now! I'm even giving our bookshelves the hard eye, and thinking that it would be better for the library to act as my repository than having to hoik it all around myself.

I was in an older lady's house lately, and realizing that in spite of the fact that she lives alone, she needs an entire bungalow and its basment to keep all the stuff of a lifetime. It's motivating in the culling process.

arcolaura said...

That reminder about the sun streaming in next February is motivating too - thanks madcap!