It’s very likely that in 5 weeks from today, Darren and I’ll be wearily getting up, having slept on an air mattress overnight, and shambolically gathering our last remaining possessions – cats included – we’ll hop into the car and start the long drive to Melbourne.
It’s a funny thing; we’re now at that stage in the move where almost everything we do around the house to prepare makes an irrefutable change. A piece of furniture removed, or disassembled here, a bulky item we’re not taking disposed of there. The house is no longer being defined by what is in it, but by what isn’t.
You might think that with just 5 weeks to go we should have been further progressed down this stage, but we’re (for the most part) comfortable that we haven’t left our run too late. There’s been a lot of preparatory work involved: our life for years had been about hoarding our possessions like misers afraid to let go – as if the possessions themselves somehow held synergistic value. The first step was realising the value was actually in our memories – that letting go of possessions isn’t letting go of the experience, rather a simple acknowledgement of linear time. An acceptance that there are things in the past, and there are things in the now, and there are things in the future. And if you try to hold onto everything from the past – clutching it miserly and dragging it around with you, then it becomes dead weight.
The cleansing of that dead weight has taken time. But with it mostly done now, the real deconstruction is running in earnest.
And so we’re increasingly left with holes in our minds; not the memories – they remain – but the visions. You look at a spot that had a particular appearance for over seven years, but it’s now empty, and it’s jarring. Not in a good way, but not in a bad way either. A recognition that the past is being let go, in preparation for something new.
But we’ll be left with the memories. And sure, memories change over time – they fade, or they soften, or they accentuate in ways we don’t anticipate; but they synergistically form our lives. The move isn’t about leaving parts of our lives behind – those parts of our lives are encapsulated in memory, and so are intrinsically part of us, which means we’re taking the best of those times with us.
By the time we actually arrive in Melbourne there’ll be a lot of holes in our minds – memories lacking tangible association – but I’m not afraid or concerned about that, and I don’t think it bothers Darren all that much either. We’ll have cleanly let go of part of our past, holding onto the memories of those precious times, and ready to make so many new memories.