re:settlement

It has been said that moving house is one of the most stressful things that you can do. I just counted on my fingers and realized that in the last 13 years I have lived in 14 different houses, some of those houses I have lived in, left and gone back to several times. Needless to say, movement and resettlement have become like an annual ritual.

Today is day 5 in house number 15.

I have a love-hate relationship with moving. I hate packing. I hate that the packing never seems to end. I hate the black ink from the newspaper which inevitably ends up all over your hands, and gets smudged all over your nose and forehead. I hate that the packing never seems to end. I hate having to scrub every windowsill, skirting and wardrobe corner to ensure that the house you are leaving is 10 times cleaner than when you moved in. I hate that the packing and the cleaning never seem to end. I hate carrying boxes from the house to the car, from the car to the new house. I hate that the packing and the cleaning and the carrying never seem to end.

But I love opening the boxes.

It's strange I guess, but the newspaper annoys me less at the other end. Maybe because there is something about unpacking that is strangely reminiscent of Christmas and Birthdays. Even though the things you are unpacking are not new, there is a sense in which you rediscover them when you open them up at the other end. And then you get to decide where they are going to go. The old merges with the new. The end product is at once new and exciting, comforting and familiar.

I love how every object is connected to my life and memory. Our dinner set is not just a dinner set, it's the dinner set my brother gave me; the milk jug is not just a milk jug, it's the milk jug my friend got us as an engagement present; my desk is not just a very difficult piece of furniture to move, it is the desk that my friend's dad gave me, it's the desk I am sitting at right at this very moment. It is also my favourite piece of furniture because I have had it so long, and because when I sit here at this desk I feel somehow connected to all those houses I have lived in, all the people that I have lived with.

I feel grateful that my life has been graced with so many beautiful people.

Comments

jeanie said…
She finally did it! Yay....

Looking forward to more posts. Oh damn! Does this mean I get hassled over the blogesphere, too?!

Maybe it's not such a good thing you have a blog then...hmmm
melissa said…
Oh, my heart bleeds for you...I'm sure you'll learn to cope, and secretly, deep down, very deep down, you know you love it!
Jacob said…
It is also my favourite piece of furniture because I have had it so long, and because when I sit here at this desk I feel somehow connected to all those houses I have lived in, all the people that I have lived with.

hey my love, this makes me feel more love towards the large, heavy desk. thank you for sharing your thoughts.

yourbouy xxx
Rachel said…
another one down...

R xx
melissa said…
down what precisely?
Rachel said…
that is the question my friend!

My high school French is failing me - what does your Blaise Pascal quote mean? I'm thinking 'you say I'm a heretic, is that allowed?' but that doesn't quite make sense to me
melissa said…
Your highschool french is pretty good actually, about as good as my 1st year university french!
onscreen said…
Bienvenue au monde woderful de blogging. Mon Français suce, car ce scentance montre probablement.
BJ said…
i-God speaks French...
Hey Melissa!
Thanks for your post. Rhett and I are not particularly looking forward to the moving process we are facing this weekend, however your thoughts made me feel a twinge of sentimentality which I may have overlooked in the stress of packing, carrying and unpacking. So thanks :)

onscreen:
Votre Français n'est pas trop mauvais, toutefois ma recherche de traduction de Google est beaucoup plus efficace !
melissa said…
Yes, but one always needs to beware that google and free translation.com translate words, but not grammar. Sometimes it's the grammar the contributes most to the meaning of a sentence.

C'est la vie!
melissa said…
BJ, i-god does not speak french. I-god speaks english with french vocab. If you walked up to someone in France and said 'Mon nom est BJ' they would be so offended that they might actually spit on you. They do tend to be rather particular about the way in which foreigners speak their language.

Of couse if this is how badly God actually speaks french then maybe that explains why France has become so secular...hmmmn food for thought.
BJ said…
Or maybe God hates the french?

That would make him British...

Or a NZer...

Je ne comprend pas
onscreen said…
Sas - say what? "Your French is not too bad, however my search for translation of Google is much more effective" My French is terrible, and Babel Fish is a poor subsitute for knowing a language!
Anonymous said…
Oh the memories of moving... and cleaning up that house in Kingsland Ave! I have so many happy memories from there, but moving out is not one of them!

Not sure if you're at Easter camp or cession this weekend, but either way it makes me glad to know there is one Church and so even though I'm in Oxford, I am also there with you in some mysterious way...
melissa said…
Hey Ani,

I would be at camp, but we cancelled due to a lack of registrations. A blessing in disguise for me, I am still not quite feeling myself though much better than last time we spoke/wrote. So I will be at cession on Sunday. We are running a taize service, so seeming as you introduced me to taize I am feeling very much like you will be there. Nice.

Oh and cleaning the Kingsland Ave house was awful! This time around we were lucky enough to have the help of many friends to make the task less arduous. Also nice.

I do miss the house though, mostly because I miss you girls.

Know that wherever you happen to find yourself on Easter Sunday in Oxford, I will somehow be with you too. All part of that beautiful mystery that is 'the communion of saints.'

Love you long time.

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