Monday, August 30, 2010

it only takes one moment

It only takes one moment for me to fall in love. Falling in love with a place. (And people, but it gets more complicated talking about people, because, well, they're people...). I can be liking a place. Enjoying what it has to offer. But it only takes that one moment for me to fall in love. It happens when I am not really expecting it to. When I think, "well, this isn't so bad...", the place takes my breath away and then I think, "what did I ever do without this place in my heart." And then it is that moment that ties me to my love. The liking has turned to love--and after love there is no turning back. The place has become a part of me. People sometimes break your heart. But places, it seemed, could never hurt your heart like that. And that has remained pretty much true. Returning to that place I love always heals my heart. I only hope that these places remain as they are...and don't get paved over for the next Wal-Mart. So sadly, I think places could break my heart too. After all, with love, there will always be some broken heart.

[In the absence of a camera, I had to dig out some photos of moments that I fell in love with a place. Most of the moments of falling in love are only in my heart...but these, well, there is a corresponding photo!]

Monday, August 16, 2010

what to do with an empty house

On Saturday, it was moving day for my grandma. She is moving to an assisted living complex, and I was there to help. And by help, I mean watching my nephew so that those in charge (i.e. my aunt, grandma, etc.) and those who could actually move furniture (i.e. my awesome brothers), could do what they needed to. I was a really hard job. But it left me contemplating the empty house.

It has been a little bizarre watching my grandma pack up a life of 89 years to go live in a tiny little room. Years of stuff scattered to the winds (between the DI, my room, my aunts, dad, uncle, brother, etc). If I remember right, she moved in to that house on 12th street in Ogden in 1954. That's a long time. For someone like me who falls apart when saying goodbye to a life of 2 years, pretty much I can't even comprehend it. It makes me realize that we really can't take our stuff with us. And I don't even mean that in a figurative, when you die kind of way. She literally cannot take much with her to this new place. But we humans sure love our stuff. And for those of us who are museum professionals, it reaches a new level. I really believe in preserving the past. That means I have a lot of stuff from my own past. I love to read...thus the hundreds of books I have at my moms. Sorry mom! And those things are important. But how much is too much?

As Saturday wore on, the house was empty. No furniture. Nothing on the walls. And I was getting pretty sad. For my grandma, and for myself. But there was my nephew...happy as could be with the few toys he had. Granted, he's four, so he has no concept of what was really going on. But he was pretty content to just throw toys down the mail slot, play Frankenstein/Dracula/the Mummy/Igor with his aunt, and play bowling with his kid sized bowling set. I learned a lot from him in that moment.

I realized that emptiness scares me. My grandma's empty house made me terribly sad and nervous. I equate emptiness with loneliness. And loneliness is scary. But I am trying to empty my own life. It is full, to be sure. I have amazing family. Some great friends. But it is time to create my own empty life. There is too much noise. Too much clutter. Too much baggage that I need to finally be done with. All of that stuff is hard to hold on to it sometimes, but it provides some level of comfort and so I keep holding on. My grandma had an empty house, but the important things remained. Family. Memories. Thought. It might be pretty sad sometimes, but the space will give me room to begin new chapters of my own life.

As I continue to create empty space in my own life, I hope that I can remember that amidst an empty house, there is room to play. And play in a way that couldn't be done with all that furniture and stuff cluttering up the room. The furniture served its purpose at one time...but the purpose is done and it is time for something new.

Monday, August 2, 2010

tired? hungry? lazy?

What's a person to do when this happens? McDonalds. That was my sad answer tonight. Sometimes I don't cook. Or go shopping. And then it happens. It's time to eat dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. And there's nothing in my fridge. So, I eat out. Or sometimes I eat cereal for dinner and nothing for breakfast but diet coke. But normally it isn't fast food like McDonalds. I have eaten McDonalds twice this year. Once driving across the country (and really, I count those three days as free days...anything goes). And the other with a couple of my fellow interns at SITES. But there I was tonight. Closing the museum. Driving home. Tired. Hungry. And a bit at a loss. Didn't want to get out of my car. So I just saw the golden arches and just drove on through and got dinner. Easy. Maybe too easy... So, if I leave it at this one night, it's okay. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this is how horribly bad, addictive habits start. You're tired, lazy, unwilling to think of the best thing to do and you just do whatever is right there in front of you. Hopefully I won't add the fast food habit to a list of things that I probably should have stopped long ago. Once won't kill you. It never does. It's the time after that, and after that.