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Moving: An Ode to Cole Street

Katie and I are both moving in August. I wrote a poem in February (“Acquiring Things”) about finally adhering myself to my apartment, to San Francisco, to solidity – in the form of putting up a single curtain. If you’ve seen my place, you’d know that it is certainly mine: black&white checkered linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom; sand colored walls and dark woods in the living room; a chocolate velvet couch with fuzzy pillows of pale blue and cream; a kitchen of country greens, hand sewn chair covers, and a garden trellis with fake ivy hanging from the ceiling; and finally my bedroom saturated in deep crimson walls and black and white accents.

Yes, this place is me, through and through. Country, edgy, cozy all beyond the entrance of one door. However, there are ways that I have not allowed it to become whole – no curtains, no desk, no art space. Missing are the pieces that would create a home. Those that indicate security, stasis, and an ability to work, to sink and spread into the environment.

So, finally, one evening in February, a year and a half after I’d moved in, I screwed one curtain onto one window in my living room. It was a big deal. If I were to leave, I would have to pause, to remove slowly, not rush off in the middle of the night, as I’ve been apt to do. I would have to sink in and spread out with the idea and the mechanics of moving.

Moving is a big deal. “Home” is a key foundation block of the human psyche, and to move it is disruptive. Last year, I used to drive by a house that was being lifted off its foundation in order to pour a new one. I watched each week as the scaffolding was laid out, as the framing went up, as the house was wrapped in pulleys and levers and care, and finally, as it was hoisted out of the ground, wood wedged underneath to create a temporary support structure.

Although I never saw the house laid back to the ground, I will assume it followed the course it had been preparing for months: it gently settled down onto its now firm, concrete footing. Safe, and stronger than ever.

As Katie and I float somewhere above where we were, but not where we will be, I ask your help to provide a temporary support structure. And when I land, firmly planted, I will put up curtains, because it’s time to be safe – so that I can be bold.

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