Over the last two days we have been saying goodbye to one space and hello to another. I love the light in our new home, the airy feel of it, the color of the walls and floor, even though they were chosen by someone else. I am happy to be in a house again, still catching myself wondering about noise, out of habit, when Ada is at her most exuberant. We have new floors, new carpet (though I could do without the off-gassing), new kitchen, new table tomorrow and new washer and dryer on the way. In many ways this move three blocks away feels like a fresh start. At the same time, we bring ourselves along, our habits, our fears, our mental chatter, our tendency to accumulate more than we need.
As with everything since Ben died, I am working to do things differently. When the clear voice inside me says, Give this away, and the other voice immediately starts with, But it’s perfectly good Corningware and you use it all the time, I am learning to turn back to the first voice, which reminds me, You don’t love it, give it away, create space for something new. I listen. I am learning to let go over and over again.
When I visited Karen Maezen Miller for a Jizo ceremony in her beautiful garden, she gave me incense and instructed me to say ceremony for Ben for the next seven days. I managed six. When I was packing, I found the last stick hidden in the folds of the ceremony program. Today as we were cleaning out the old place, I lit the incense and walked out to my little spot in the sand, in front of a cement wall decorated in chalk drawings. I said ceremony. I said goodbye. I cried.
The space we left absorbed so much love, grief, fear, joy and so many tears in the last year. I wonder about where that energy goes. Does it hang around like an abandoned puppy or wander off to some war-torn country to hover over a young woman’s head? Is it absorbed back in to the infinite or does it coagulate on the beach like tar, sticking to a teenage boy’s heel as he shows off for the tanned, bikini-clad girl three towels over?
I think that’s why we clean when we move into a new home. Sure, there’s the dirt from the last tenants, but really, we are scrubbing the energy, hoping that life will be good here. As I walked through the space tonight with my sage, my heart held open, beating slightly faster than it should, I hoped for peace, for clarity, ease, and love.
Now I just need to figure out where everything goes.