Am I A Falcon, A Storm?


Two bags packed, one to go.

Last night I had three teenage girls in my living room to help me “sort my clothes.” To allow a sixteen-year old the right to advise you on what you ought pack in your suitcase is both enlightening and frightening. To have three of them is to invite a war, of sorts. There was much laughter. At one point, I had to ardently defend the rights of my favorite soft green shirt.

Girls: “That’s for the give-away pile, Nelly. It spells, ‘Grandma.'”

Me: “But!”

Girls: “Oh, Nelly, please. No Grandma shirts.”

Me: “Listen you! I do not look like a Grandma in this shirt! I’ll prove it to you.” [Theatrically grabs a black skirt with the green shirt and huffs away to the dressing room.]

I won. The shirt lives. But a lot of other stuff dies to the give-away pile.

Operation Pack is spelled: simplify, give-away, simplify. The nice thing about two transcontinental moves in five years is that you learn to condense your belongings into a few suitcases. It feels good.

Before I fell asleep I read a nice poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (in translation). I found myself in it. From his Book of a Monastic Life:

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

Comments
4 Responses to “Am I A Falcon, A Storm?”
  1. Lyd <3 says:

    The pit pile was the greatest thing ever that night!! I loved the bikini talk as well very enlightening and funny!!

    love ya alwayz
    Lyd

  2. Jenelle says:

    Lyd,
    Pit pile! Nothing is sacred anymore. Thanks so much for coming over to help me in my pitifulness. Heart!

  3. Heather says:

    Love that poem! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Mel says:

    I can completely identify with your packing madness… I’ve moved 7 times in the last 5 years, two of them across continents. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the luxury of downsizing my belongings into a few bags. Oddly, they keep multiplying. Maybe I need to hang out with more high school girls. 🙂

    ps- that is an amazing poem. thank you for sharing it with me. I have Rilke’s works in German. I need to read him more.

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