I keep coming back to stuff

When I started this blog I spoke a lot about my journey to rid myself of my excess of stuff so I could “get somewhere.”

I had sold my successful business that I’d opened and run for nearly 18 years with no idea what I was going to do next. I only knew that whatever was next for me – I couldn’t do it with all this stuff! I couldn’t get where I wanted to be and drag all this stuff with me.

Flash forward a bunch of years. I got rid of a lot of my possessions, created a career whereby I help others do the same. Took a longed for road trip of just over 15,000 miles (around the US – by myself!) and came home from that road trip ready to pack up my home and move on from the life I’d been living. I still didn’t know what I was moving towards, I just knew that I was ready.

Then I met a high school sweetheart and fell in love.

I packed up my house alright, I left behind the life I’d been living and I moved my (now much fewer) possessions into his home. Just about 20 minutes from where I’d owned my business all those years.

I began to work on my writing, (it’s what I do, it’s who I am, and I never quite stop doing it,) with a little Personal Organizing and decluttering on the side.

That’s when I started getting into Life Coaching.

I had become living proof that you can get where, and do what, you want in life. You are never stuck. It’s just a matter of finding your way from where you are.

Flash forward another couple of years, (Holy moly how time flies!)

I’m not at all unhappy with my life at the moment.

I life coach, and I help people declutter to find their way to the life they want. I write and have found my way to my first big book project. I’ve made new connections and I enjoy the space where I reside.

My sweetie isn’t so much into decluttering.

He likes to buy stuff. He likes to keep stuff.

And while I’m not unhappy with the life we share here, I want more.

Life is short – yes?

And I keep coming back to stuff.

I think there’s too much stuff in this house.

I feel like it is holding he and I back from the life we both say we want.

Decluttering still seems all the rage. There are always books coming out about the joys of it or the how to of it. I’m reading yet another new and hot one now.

(Someday I hope I’ll write one.)

But it’s making me itch.

It’s making me itch to get rid of the old china hutch in the spare room (He doesn’t love it but it belonged to his mother.) It’s making me itch to get rid of the twenty cookbooks I kept when I first downsized from 80 or so that I used to own. It’s making me want to get rid of the 15 tiny decorative dishes, trays, and bowls both he and I seem to adore. Sure they are pretty and all but they are a pain to keep dusted and I don’t think they are adding much to my life. He, of course, doesn’t agree. He thinks they are tiny, barely take up any room, aren’t unpleasant, aren’t in the way and that there is no reason to get rid of them.

I keep coming back to stuff.

I have too much stuff.

I am surrounded by too much stuff.

Too much stuff gets in the way of moving forward.

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Because my hugging friend said “The world needs art right now”

It truly is rather nightmarish.

The way this Neolithic evil clown came plodding towards me in an expensive business suit,

dragging a foot in the last century,

and gnashing his teeth like a homophobic bully troll.

He wasn’t really a threat. And I was not yet scared.

As he got closer and closer, he got uglier and uglier.

I could see there was a list in his tiny hand.

My name wasn’t on the list. (But it was no consolation.)

Still this knuckle dragging monster came persistently towards me,

single minded and unhinged.

He said he could save me.

I looked away.

I do not enjoy the taste of bile.

He was slow, I could stay out of his path.

He was too much a caricature to be really afraid of.

His weird mouth and fake hair

like a cliché Disney Monster with a hunch back and crooked nose.

It made me made me point and laugh (this nightmare is just silly!)

Yet onward he came… unstoppingly

inching ever closer to me,

saying under his hateful breath,

“I’m comin for ya, I’m comin for ya.”

Months upon months upon months (a recurring nightmare,)

“I’m comin for ya, I’m comin for ya”

In my nightmare he whispered that he would take away my heathen neighbors, and my Mexican judges, (what the fuck are you talking about?) and beat my uppity blacks,

and I laughed.

I am American. You are no threat to me! (the illusion of safety)

A buffoon, not a monster.

He had a bullseye on me – “Comin for ya, comin for ya.”

He said he’d grab my pussy, imprison me inside a wall.

I tried to ignore him.

He got so close I could hear his knuckles scrapping the pavement of modern America.

I wanted to wake up from this nightmare.

I looked away (desperately) and waited (prayed) for daylight.

Months upon months of unending pursuit and veiled threats.

And yet….

I still felt blindsided when he landed on me.

Like 270 steampunk spiders found me sleeping in my own cozy web.

Like I was innocently crossing a street and a semi truck filled with deplorables came outa nowhere and mowed me down.

I woke screaming

I feel like I got hit by someone else’s dream bus filled with 1950s dinner-making wives,

and I can’t shake this feeling of dread and danger.

 

(That the American dream left me with.)

 

I saw a friend I love.

He’d had the same dream.

We held each other like two who had lost a beloved parent or close friend.

There were no words.

And the mere fact of being held by him, in the face of all that is horrifying and surreal

brought the first tears to my eyes.

Apparently our love was not enough to stop this vile thing.

The color of everything seems different now.

My beautiful purples gone sickly grey.

My vibrant reds look like drying blood.

My painting is ruined.

 

It cannot end on this note.

There must be a….

a….

a….

a thing to do

a way to work

a light to shine

Find it.

Find it ASAP

Pools

This series of posts is brought about by my attempt to relive what I did on my road trip which lasted from December 8, 2013 to May 3, 2014. I’m attempting to keep pace with myself last year. This post I wrote the other day and was reluctant to publish. But… I’ve edited it…

yellowstone

Yeah BFD. I got in the car and drove through some snow and met an internet friend.
Why do I act like (think in my mind like) it was some momentous thing.
Like I broke some restraint.
Whose restraint?
No one was trying to hold me back.
I can’t actually think of too many times anyone has tried to hold me back.
Me. Me who sometimes does amazing projects. Who tries to stop me?
There have been friends who laughed at me and told me I’d not go anywhere.
Luckily I managed to let them go. Since that kind of attitude is completely counter productive to the kind of life I want to live.
What did I think I was accomplishing? That morning. It was my first morning. It was cold and snowy.

Getting our cars out of Kari’s driveway and going to her corporate employment place, getting me a guest ID. Going to a Toastmaster meeting. And then hitting the road again when she went to work. Such a grey day it was, driving across the north of Virginia.

Luray Caverns, closed when I drove by. Or rather I’d be too late for the last scheduled tour. That had been a big one on my starting itinerary.
I visited Luray Caverns once in the 80s. On a lark on the way to spring tour one year. It led to a bit of a cave obsession over the next few year’s worth of journeys. Anything! Anywhere. To get underground and see what the earth can do.
Such wondrous places. Caves. Eons of time piled up to see. Glistening, towering stalagmites. Dripping, growing stone hanging delicately from vaulted ceilings. Deep blue green waters. I once saw some blind fish in a cave in Tennessee. Swimming endlessly back and forth in the pale green water.
But this day it was only pale grey skies.
I was not going underground. I was heading for the mountains instead.

Isn’t that just like life? Plan one thing and another happens.
I had reservations at an Airbnb place near Virginia Tech. And if I was on time, a Toastmasters meeting in the same town – Blacksburg Virginia.

hours later…

Stream of consciousness takes over sometimes…

Little brass hummingbird drinks from a brass water dish thingy. Sitting in the utility sink with a softly glowing green pool in its dish. Reminds me of an underground cave pool. Caves. That’s the second time today.

The desire to see those types of pools again, often, is strong. Always.
Sigh, it’s just brass polish. Not a magic pool.
That’s why Luray was such an important destination as I set out. I need to see it. I knew it as one of the most commercialized caves even back in the 80s. But with good reason. I remember the formations as impressive and accessibility as a joyous walk through the world. I want to experience that majesty again.

Is that why I’m on this road trip?

Partially, yes. But I just had to pass it by.

This Road Trip is bigger than Luray.

In dreams I often see such a deeply colored pool in my front yard. It’s as large as the yard (different yards in different dreams) with comfortable looking craggy boulders splashled around. The water is the clearest thing I’ve ever seen. I see the depths – more boulders, like lava, artfully tumbled below. And the colors! All colors of the rainbow, so bright, electric even. Inviting. I’ve seen pictures of places with underwater scenes almost as vibrant as my dream but I’ve never seen one in person. Sometimes the photos I see of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful give me the same impression of the pool and colors in my dream. But not quite.

Dying Dreams Weigh Too Much

This morning feels so oppressive.
Grey. Smog. Dingy southern California. The grey hides the usually shiny veneer.
I feel my own mortality this morning. What with Tony being my age when he died.
I feel the weight of millions of dead and dying dreams here. Tony’s included.
Screaming children in the hotel parking lot.
A young check out clerk with puffed up visions of her own importance. With her huge fake lashes and carefully contrived eyebrows that look scary, stark, as if they are planning an attack.
The sad talk of the baristas at Starbucks in a dingy strip mall in the depths of all that’s bad about the edges of LA. She wishes she lived in Boston.
The family pushing a week’s worth of groceries down the street, tiredly. He with the grocery cart a mile from the closest store and fully over-flowing. Her with the stroller, two kids.
Dead dreams feel oppressive and they hurt. They press.

Tony
Here’s a rose for you Tony. And a drink. I need to get out of here before my dreams die too.