The Space Needle is My Neighbor

"A mind stretched by a new idea can never go back to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life, Death & All That Stuff That Happens In Between

This is a before and after of my apartment, where I lived for the first seven years after I came to Seattle. A year ago I found myself being condo-ized out of my home in a campaign that could best be described as benign neglect. I won't devote any time to what that process looked like- it was excruciatingly difficult enough to just get through it, and it still pisses me off. As the apartments around me were being stripped down to the studs, I was finding myself to be going through a similar process. Finalizing a "divorce-in-waiting", putting my cat to sleep, slowly coming to the realization that my job was crushing my will to live; I was also stripping away the foundation, however illusory, that had supported me for the duration after my move from Chicago.

Let me tell you, I have attended more seminars and read more handouts on the subject of change than one person should ever have to endure in a single lifetime. I have gone through my share of "re-orgs" and "re-alignments", and in some cases I've had to play the part of the principal facilitator of a number of unpleasant endeavors. Change sucks. No matter what kind of positive spin you might convince people to believe in regarding the process of changing things up, we are creatures of habit. Bottom line. The one thing I haven't been able to figure out is when exactly this universal characteristic takes hold of us. As children, we crave the new- every single day. Eventually this excitement is replaced by a claw-like grip on every person, place or thing we've accumulated; be it keeping it all around us in the here and now, or hanging on to the memory of all of it-defying time to try and take it away.

I find myself waging a war with myself, every single day, to continue to embrace the new- to challenge myself to find the interesting, the fresh, the unknown, all the while watching the memory of family, place, and experience receding into the mist. I know it all resides within me somewhere; these are the flagstones upon which I have trod to get to where I am today, and which allow me to discover for example, how much I love learning about typography and graphic design and how I'm able to study and appreciate it from a much different perspective now; the perspective of having lived on this earth for five decades-plus, which is a pretty amazing context considering all that's happened in my lifetime.

One of the very important elements of my life that has fallen by the wayside over the last year is writing. When I started this site I would stay up late every night, faithfully reporting the craziest news of the day, or delving deep into my psyche to try and make sense of how I ended up in Seattle, and what I was going to do about it; how I could best make this an experience that would mark a positive turning point in my life. Things have changed for me; I now share the space where I live with another human being, and these are waters I haven't navigated in many years. The delicate negotiations required to obtain the necessary time and space are still somewhat indistinct to me. I remember being in this situation before, but unlike riding a bike, the skill doesn't come back so automatically or naturally. There's a lot of unlearning that has to be done, especially when you share one big space without rooms, or closets or even a few extra walls. Yes, it's a loft, and let me just say for both of us that even Mother Theresa would have a difficult time staying upbeat and productive 24/7 in this environment, but we're making it work, because we're both considerate to a fault. You, on the other hand, have been warned......

I've written before in fits and starts about wanting to get back to consistently tending to this site in the hopes of continuing to discover my literary voice. A very good conversation last night with my best friend convinced me that I do need to keep exploring what's in my head, making those vital connections and presenting the ideas that are summoned up from these internal excursions. The studs and the drywall are once again in place- now it's time to start redecorating.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've checked in here for months, finding no updates and somehow you put this up in June? How did I miss it?

Don't give up on your dreams! It's great to know you're back.


3:41 PM  

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