The Earth Moves

Oh, ha ha ha. A couple posts ago, I was writing about mis-en-place as if I lived and breathed it. Now I’m wondering what happened to the organization I used to consider my middle name. It’s been replaced with something…well…else. And I’m reminded of a line one of my writing partners, Janet, wisely squeezed into a script for a TV spot Nike (unwisely) never approved: “Life is messy.” Jeez, is it ever.


We’re moving. I said that the last time I posted. Forgive me if I repeat myself, because that’s what you do when you move. You go a bit nuts for a while. Everything is upside down. Not just the books and boxes and memories and sentimental objects that all of a sudden just seem like something else to get rid of. But also the emotions. I am happy then I’m sad. Giddy then exhausted. Negative than positive. Whatever’s happening, I’m being moved by it. I’m being heaved up by a big tidal wave I invited into my life. You get what you ask for.


And what we asked for starts tomorrow. Tomorrow! Yikes! So, everything feels off. Everything is in flux. And despite all my best-laid mis-en-place plans (yes, I’ve drawn diagrams and floor plans and closet plans and you-name-it plans), I have this funny feeling that things will land a bit differently than I think they will. It’s all very funky.


And in the process of it all, we have revisited every moment of our own lives. Every choice. Every person we knew. Every shred of evidence or shame or glory. Every scrap of paper has been looked at and categorized, sometimes as “Trash,” sometimes as something to be newly enshrined. Every thing, every object has been reassessed. Our life has passed before our eyes, if not in a minute, then in a month of getting ready. The sense of an end is palpable.


But it’s just the end of a chapter. And without ending one chapter, you can’t start another. And that’s what it’s all about. A new, thrilling, different start. As much as I like might like to experience life as someone else, I’ll still be me with flaws and strengths, my quirks and insecurities…but I’ll be seeing the world from a different place. And this will be a new life for me. For us. I’m so excited about that.


We may do everything exactly as we do now. But then again, we may not. I don’t really think we will. A place can have huge impact on how you live, can’t it? Where we have noise now, we will have quiet. Where we have open space, we will have dedicated spaces. Where we now have lots and lots, we will be living with less. Much less. Where we now see cityscape, we will see vines. While we now commute to the center of the city, we will now be in it. A different set of contradictions. A different set of realities.

I don’t know that we will really “get anything right”…I just have faith that it will be. I’ll let you know.

What was the most traumatic move in your life? What move has changed you the most? Where would you move next?

I hope you have a beautiful day.

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8 Responses to The Earth Moves

  1. dayphoto says:

    I read your post and applauded you…it’s always a gut wrenching experience to move. After I read you post I went back and read you moving vans…how cute they are! Good Luck, my friend! A whole new world awaits and you and your family are part of it!!!


    • Thanks Linda! I think in our case this change is a good one…but I’ve also often looked at friends of mine who didn’t move…who stayed put for a very long time…and there is great growth that happens in that circumstance too. Deep roots and deep knowledge. A different kind of passage.

  2. Cook-Tench says:

    Charlotte, few of us take the time in the middle of packing for a move to really think about what it means on deeper levels. Am I taking this? Am I leaving it? Who might want it? How do I get rid of it? Such very basic questions. I love how you’ve thought about the different things that a move represents – how your new home might change your lives. Thank you for sharing and good luck tomorrow. Whatever we plan on paper, real life always has a way of surprising us. It would all be so dull if we could easily plot it out, wouldn’t it?

  3. I’m reading this upon waking, and it strikes close to home. We have moved in and out of the country twice. I have no plans of moving right now. But it brings it back up in a way… except I’ve had my “home base” on Orcas Island for 22 years (where we have now lived again the past 3 years). Sometimes I think about moving from here and that’s exciting and scary.
    I also touched back on your last post. I’m also a chef by training and completely agree with the steps. Becoming one with the list etc… I feel that when I prepared large meals or catered or had my cafe. Interesting to see it in writing.
    Where are you relocating?

    • It’s sort of funny. We’re only moving 2 km away, but it feels like a different world. Our new house has an ancient story. I hope to get around to telling it one of these days. Involves a Roman emperor, nuns, servants and horses.

      I love it that you sent me corrections to make on your behalf. I am always screwing up messages. I type fast and without care and forget to proofread. I’m starting to look illiterate.

  4. NUNS!! You are moving? How out of touch can i get.. Bon Voyage – up the road.. c

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