Forecast: Expect it to Continue Raining Animals and Books for a Few More Days

The move took an excruciatingly stretched-out five days. The truck rental company screwed us over, leaving us scrambling for a replacement moving van at the last minute. Our mattress did not fit up the 19th-century spiral staircase. We had to send an extra couch to the curb, because it was too fat to fit in any of the 4 doors. We are sleeping on the couch, and unpacking boxes with the verve and fitness of creaky 90-year-olds. We will not have Internet or cable until Tuesday afternoon. What does this mean for you, dear readers? Until then, expect cell phone photos of my animals and books and maybe a quote or two. Regular content resumes on Wednesday.

Moving House

The Chef and I, with the help of a few generous friends and relations and the trusted Wimbledon removals firm, are moving house this weekend. Friday through Monday. I apologize in advance if my posts are short and few during this time, and if I am slow to respond to comments. I love all my darling readers, and cannot wait to come back and share my bookish adventures with you.

Until then, I leave you with this manifestation of how I feel about the actual process of moving.

Woman in top hat, late 1800s

Woman in top hat, late 1800s [Photographer: Unknown Source: Retronaut]

“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”-Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Daily Diversion #137: A Key to the Future…

…looks like this.

A key to the future

A key to the future.

There are no quotes about moving or change that match the happiness I feel deep in my heart. Our new house is 6 1/2 miles away, but it feels like a different world. An opening into something calm and beautiful. A psychological awakening, ripe with satisfaction and intense anticipation. I can, almost, open my clenched fists. Almost.

Creativity Challenges: Staying Motivated During the Moving Process

We have to be out of our flat in two weeks. We are surrounded by a swiftly growing assemblage of boxes; they are eagerly closing in on us, covering pathways, blocking the easiest routes of egress. Worse still, is their power to sap me of my will to write. As they increase in number and size, my ability to function as a creator decreases accordingly.

Wherever my eyes look, they see chaos: dust, empty shelves, fraying carpet seams. My studio is slowly being denuded of charm and character. I look around and wonder, “How did I ever write in this place? How did I create things of purpose and beauty? Did I?” From certain angles, it just doesn’t seem possible. This indignity, it’s monstrous.

It’s an illusion, naturally. Creative spaces are not enchanted rooms or bewitched nooks. They do not bestow extraordinary abilities on all who enter, but instead offer us serenity or stillness or mental and physical discipline. They are practical, safe places rooted in the everyday needs of difficult professions.

Through this tatty veil, though, a bit of magic shines through. Talismans. Books and other scraps of inspiration: photos, quotes, fancy pens, markers, colourful paper clips, a mountain of notebooks, art, calendars, strange ephemera, re-purposed junk. These are the inhabitants that make my studio what it is: a visually and emotionally appealing sanctuary where work gets done.

This brings us back to the lamentations of the opening paragraphs. The growing starkness of the studio is messing with the normal structure of my days. If it ever came down to it, I could write anywhere and under almost any imaginable circumstance. Write with blinders on, focused, unaffected. Unfortunately, the fact that I do not have to means that I do not have to, will not, cannot. I will struggle on for the next couple of weeks, searching for poise. Ideas piling up in notebooks, phrases and plots reaching the edge of fruition. Waiting. Waiting to be unpacked. Waiting to be developed. Waiting.

“I lived to write, and wrote to live.”-Samuel Rogers